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Articles: Enrollment & Retention

The Consumer Financial ProtectionBureau’s forthcoming “Payback Playbook” intends to simplify the student loan repayment process by presenting clear, customized repayment options.

In April, the agency offered a sneak peek. The initiative will provide borrowers with simple repayment plan options any time they log into their student loan account. The Playbook summary will also be included with their monthly loan bills or in regular emails from their student loan servicers.

It has been demonstrated amply that financial aid leveraging can, under the right circumstances, increase enrollment and net tuition revenue. For some, however, that isn’t the case.

Enrollment leaders must therefore assess other aspects of recruitment to determine how effectively they are working to build larger, more committed applicant and admit pools, especially when increases in aid are not conducive or possible.

In the 2014-15 academic year, the number of international students at U.S. colleges and universities grew at the highest rate in 35 years, increasing by 10 percent to more than 970,000 students. (Image: Thinkstock.com/Rawpixel Ltd)

Because students from other countries, or simply from areas far from their desired college, can’t attend in-person interviews, admissions professionals are turning to virtual interviews as a way to evaluate candidates—helping ensure the selection of those who will make the most valuable contributions on campus.

Virtual interview platforms. (Click to enlarge)

Determining the return on investment for virtual admissions interviews involves understanding the resources and when the technology will be used.

At the University of Rochester, the commitment is bigger than most. One full-time employee and eight senior students have been hired and trained just to conduct Skype interviews during this admissions cycle, says Jonathan Burdick, dean of college admission and vice provost for enrollment initiatives.

This fall, travel funded by the student government at Whitman College in Washington state will be taxed based on emissions generated in getting to and from the destination.

Passed in February as a two-year pilot program, the rule is likely the first of its kind imposed by a student government at a U.S. college.

Students traveling as part of a ski club or flying to New York City for a journalism conference, for example, will calculate the cost of their emissions, but not be charged directly.

Anxiety has replaced depression as the most common reason students seek counseling on campus. (Photo: Thinkstock.com/Max-kegfire)

New research finds mental health treatment of students pays off medically and financially. With those students now pressing administrators to increase mental health services, some colleges and universities are expanding their counseling staffs and other services.

In his book, Blackballed: The Black and White Politics of Race on America’s Campuses, Lawrence Ross says recent high-profile events represent a fraction of the racial conflicts occurring on campuses.

In his book, Blackballed: The Black and White Politics of Race on America’s Campuses, Lawrence Ross says recent high-profile events represent a fraction of the racial conflicts occurring on campuses.

Michigan State University ran a Facebook photo contest so students could show experiences made possible by financial aid.

Michigan State University

Social experiment: Facebook Photo contest

Facebook.com/msufinaid/

The idea: To show the positive side of financial aid, Michigan State held a contest that asked students to share a photo of an experience that would not have been possible had they not received aid. Ten students won $500 each.

Just 30 percent of financial aid professionals reported using social media to provide financial literacy content to students.

Financial aid offices that invest time on the major platforms say social media lightens the workload. On a higher level, social networks represent another way to provide students with financial literacy education that can advance institutional goals, including better retention and lower cohort default rates.

Alumni. That’s what alumni association magazines should, to a much greater extent, be about. At least they should if we want them to do better at marketing the university.

Down to business: Students will get a chance to work with foreign entrepreneurs through a new program that will invite startups to launch on CUNY campuses.

A new incubator program at the City University of New York that offers foreign entrepreneurs a path to U.S. citizenship will also provide students with a potential front-row seat to the next wave of business innovations.

Say cheese: Most University of Alabama students avoid waiting in line at the Action Card office for an ID by submitting their application online. For anyone unable to access that system or who needs a replacement card, the office is ready to assist.

Regardless of the size of the staff or office, efficient campus card programs share several best practices: A focus on customer service, cutting-edge technology and collaboration with the campus community and beyond.

North Carolina's controversial “Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act" jeopardizes $4.5 billion in federal higher ed funding.

In March, North Carolina passed a law that public colleges and universities require individuals to use restrooms that match their birth gender. Margaret Spellings, president of the University of North Carolina system, which serves more than 220,000 students, confirmed that all 17 campuses will comply.

Jo Allen is president of Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The role of women’s colleges—far beyond their origins in offering access to college degrees—is to help women flourish. Some women’s colleges have focused on women’s leadership; some on career preparation in STEM and other areas where women have been under-represented; and still others on health care, education and areas where women excel.

Also at UConn: The La Comunidad Intelectual learning community focuses on Caribbean and Latin American cultures.

The University of Connecticut’s recent announcement of a planned learning community intended for first- and second-year African-American male students has reignited a decades-old debate regarding ethnically themed living spaces on campus.

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