-Admissions officers, mark your 2036 calendars: Although researchers have warned that the student-age population will shrink over the next ten years, other researchers expect the current record-low birth rates in America will soon trend upward, in parallel with the economic boom. Whether or not those progeny will even consider going to college in the mid-21st century is another story, however.

-Career focused: New York’s Skidmore College offers a class called “Presenting the Brand Called Me,” where upperclassmen learn the basics of job interview skills, along with an element of panache. “A lot of it’s acting,” says the professor who has led the course for the past ten years. To learn how to make a good impression during interviews, students adopt some theater class techniques (such as role-playing and improv), all designed to help each graduate leave with a ready-to-recite personal narrative of success.

-Amidst our surfing of college websites, we were struck by the simple, elegant, and inviting nature of the site of Tacoma (Washington) Community College, which boldly proclaims that it “accepts all students who wish to learn.” They also say, “We want you here, and we want to help you afford college.” The site, which was designed by iFactory, also takes proper advantage of the beautiful natural views in their area.

-Are income sharing agreements going mainstream? Coding bootcamps and other alt-college training programs often take compensation by claiming a percentage of their graduates’ early salaries. Now, the Associated Press reports that Vemo Education (a Virginia company) is helping traditional schools implement similar risk-sharing tuition programs. According to the AP, income sharing agreements were first conceived by Milton Friedman in the 1950’s, and even Yale has dabbled with ISA’s in the past. Watch for this trend to continue as schools work to attract increasingly reticent student consumers.

-Another week, another merger: In what the Chicago Tribune describes as a marriage “both of necessity and opportunity,” The University of Illinois at Chicago will absorb the previously-private John Marshall Law School. In spite of its relatively-low base annual tuition of $47,000, John Marshall has suffered from declining enrollments since 2011. And as the Tribune notes, “The job market for attorneys has been oversaturated in recent years.”

-On perhaps a related note: As we’ve recently reported, more colleges are abandoning their requirements for SAT or ACT scores from undergraduate applicants. Similarly, John Marshall Law School in January joined the growing ranks of law schools which will consider GRE scores from applicants in lieu of the traditional LSAT. In some cases, these flexible terms reflect the strength and confidence of an elite institution, as when the University of Chicago recently adopted a test-optional policy. But when middle- or lower-tier schools make similar concessions, are they revealing a growing desperation to attract students?

-Seller’s market: In an interview with ABC News, an executive from staffing firm Robert Half International describes the generous and proactive postures required of companies as they seek to fill professional positions in an extremely tight labor market. “Maybe they’re hiring someone with 75 to 80% of the job description,” he acknowledges. Similarly, today’s Wall Street Journal says that job-seeking Americans “face their best odds of success in years” as eager, needy employers waive experience requirements.

-According to a Pew Research survey of over 4,000 participants, 61% of Americans think the American higher education system is headed in the “wrong direction.” Out of that 61%, the following were cited as “major reasons” contributing to that opinion: Tuition costs are too high (84%), Professors are bringing their political and social views into the classroom (50%), Schools are too concerned about protecting students from offensive ideas (54%), and Students are not getting the skills they need for the workplace (65%).