Spotlight Story

Where have all the college students gone?

06/2016
Across higher ed, full-time enrollment fell 1.5 percent, while the number of part-timers shrunk by 2.1 percent. (Photo: Thinkstock.com/wavebreakmedia+ltd)

The numbers should unsettle enrollment professionals: College and university enrollment rates have decreased for each of the last four years and nothing indicates a reversal anytime soon.

A look at recent headlines reflects this trend:

From UB

Campus groundbreakings: Berea College preps new science building

July, 2016
The Margaret A. Cargill Natural Sciences and Health Building is now under construction at Berea College in Ohio.

Margaret A. Cargill Natural Sciences and Health Building

Berea College (Ky.)

Berea’s new $72 million Margaret A. Cargill Natural Sciences and Health building will house the biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics and nursing departments.

Colleges lead with need-blind admissions

July, 2016
Some are skeptical about the ability for any school to be need-blind, because anyone viewing an application can surmise financial need without reading a student’s FAFSA form.

The answers to common questions about need-blind policies sheds light on why they’ve been adopted whether they work and whether other enrollment diversity initiatives can be just as effective.

Service-learning trip to Haiti fulfills its promise

July, 2016
Lex O. McMillan III is president of Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania.

If the heart of a liberal (hence, liberating) education is learning to see through the eyes of others—both living and dead—I now see clearly how the bumpy roads of Haiti led us to new learning about others and about ourselves.

When criticizing the Greek System, put blame where it belong

August, 2016

Fraternity brothers on spring break—what image immediately comes to mind? Picture this instead: golf-ball sized blisters, swollen feet, strained muscles and determination to help others. Thirty-one members of Troy University’s Alpha Tau Omega Chapter dedicated their spring break to walking 128 miles to raise money to aid wounded military veterans. I met with them on day three of their six-day march from Troy, Ala., to Panama City Beach, Fla.

Campus stores adapt to new student spending trends

July, 2016
Elizabeth Riddle is the director of OnCampus Research, a division of The National Association of College Stores.

Conventional wisdom tells us students aren’t buying course materials because they are too expensive. They are forced to drop or not take classes or go without needed materials. But research tells a different story.

Sponsored Content

7/12/2016

While faced with state and federal regulations, an increasingly competitive recruitment environment and intense pressure to contain costs, many colleges and universities have been unable to modernize critical business processes, which could help address key challenges in admissions, finance, and fundraising. Siloed data, manual processes and inefficient workflows can be costly, create security vulnerabilities and prevent institution leaders from understanding the true costs of doing business.

Wisconsin college employs Third Coast Higher Education for Financial Aid assessment and improvement project

Times of transition are always a good opportunity for evaluating processes in a financial aid office. So when the director of financial aid at Beloit College in Wisconsin took a new position, leadership at the 1,350-student institution decided to examine that department’s business operations.

6/21/2016

Institutional research is crucial to providing college and university leadership with the data required to make the most informed strategic decisions, across a broad range of areas including admissions, academics, finance, enrollment, retention, staffing, facilities and more. In order for this research to be effective, however, it is also important to have a strategy and process to translate the data gathered into actionable information.

6/14/2016

Colleges and universities are under intense pressure to meet enrollment goals, improve retention rates, and shorten time to completion. Predictive analytics can play a crucial role in these efforts by providing insights that guide strategic decision making, improve enrollment management and promote student success.

6/2/2016

Competency-based education (CBE) provides students with more flexible and cost-effective ways to complete their degrees, gives institutions more effective ways to assess learning, and helps to address concerns from many employers about the skill levels and readiness of recent college graduates. Rasmussen College (Minn.) is an early adopter of flexible, competency-based programs, and part of a network of colleges working with regional accreditors and the U.S. Department of Education to address shared challenges to designing, developing and scaling competency-based programs.