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Articles: Enrollment & Retention

Elizabeth Armstrong, a sociologist from University of Michigan, and Laura Hamilton, a professor from University of California, Merced are the authors of "Paying for the Party: How College Maintains Inequality."

A common notion of college is that it’s a great equalizer—anyone who works hard and applies themselves can achieve a better life.

But Elizabeth Armstrong, a sociologist from University of Michigan, and Laura Hamilton, a professor from University of California, Merced present a different reality in Paying for the Party: How College Maintains Inequality (Harvard University Press, 2013). The authors say that, on today’s campuses, success depends as much on where you’re from and who you know as it does on academic ability.

Driving college loan defaults down

The coming change in how student loan default rates are calculated may mean bad news for some colleges and universities.

With the new calculations, the rate at which a group of students later defaults on loan payments will increase for most institutions, and schools with a particular default rate for three consecutive years will lose the ability to give Pell Grants. That’s why many are seeing this as the ideal time to look at how default prevention services are managed.

“We include in our emails a link to a brief video that explains that we are counselors, not collectors, working on behalf of the college the borrower attended, and that we work with borrowers and their loan servicers to resolve their loan payment issues. The video invites the borrower to call us.”

—Craig P. Anderson, senior vice president, business development, USA Funds

A recent Boston Globe investigative series sparked national scrutiny of neighborhoods where some of the city’s college students are reportedly living in crowded, unsafe conditions. The allegations spawned a number of reactions from city officials.

HR expert Carol Patton says alumni have value to HR as recruiters and university advocates.

In the midst of shrinking budgets and staff, HR professionals at colleges and universities can take advantage of an often overlooked resource to help accomplish their goals.

Consider working with alumni—they typically possess a wealth of campus knowledge and skills. And they’re often eager to assist human resources in many areas, ranging from recruitment to employee coaching.

Colleges and universities may consider other uses for their chapels if attedance of religious services drops.

When the pews in campus chapels aren’t filled with students every Sunday, institutional officials may question the best use of the space.

Research from two Florida institutions found that less than 2 percent of The University of Tampa students and only 6 percent of students at nearby Eckerd College attended religious services in campus chapels.

There’s value in treating noncredit courses as more than just an add-on to degree programs.

Georgetown University officials had a bit of an epiphany recently about the impact of their noncredit courses. While the offerings had been around since the 1990s, administrators hadn’t realized the big benefits they could bring to the institution.

One provision of the Affordable Care Act is that religious-affiliated companies and organizations do not have to pay for contraception coverage for female employees.

The companies would, however, be required to file EBSA Form 700, registering their religious objection. Form 700 allows insurers to assume responsibility for birth control.

But several religious-affiliated organizations, including Wheaton College (Ill.), maintain that filing Form 700 makes them complicit in contraception, which goes against their religious convictions.

Aaron Mahl is an enrollment management consultant at Scannell & Kurz.

Although managing enrollment efforts has never been easy, it was not that long ago when the traditional funnel was somewhat predictable.

As an admissions counselor in my early days, I could easily work backward to set goals for my territory, starting with my goal for the number of enrolled students. I then used historical data and three-year trends to forecast the number of admits, applicants and inquiries needed from my territory to achieve the goal.

A transcript highlighting the full student experience at Elon University—including study abroad, research and service learning participation—is offered. When an e-transcript request is made, both the traditional one and the Elon Experiences Transcript can be combined into a single PDF file.

Rather than dealing with the intensive labor involved in sending and receiving paper transcripts—and frustration from students and graduates accustomed to automation—most colleges and universities have implemented electronic transcript capabilities.

A survey covering 21 social networks found colleges and universities use only four to recruit.

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram continue to be the most widely used online recruitment mediums for higher ed marketers, who may want to consider delving into other platforms now popular among high school seniors.

Half the profits from student-run food carts at the University of Illinois at Chicago go back to the institution, through a partnership with Chartwells Higher Education.

For today’s college students, on-the-go lifestyles present a challenge when it comes to finding time to eat, and, more specifically, eat well.

In 2010, when Adriana Marie Reyes of The University of Arizona surveyed 219 undergraduate students for her honors thesis on what influences college students’ eating habits, 82 percent said they would eat healthier if time were not an issue.

A decline in high school graduates and students applying to more institutions are what one expert sees as the two main reasons more colleges and universities are struggling to meet their admission yield targets.

The average yield rate among four-year colleges and universities fell from 42.9 percent in 2009 to 36.9 percent in 2012, according to the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s “State of College Admission 2013” report. 

Getting tripped up on the latest accessibility standards when planning or renovating campus buildings—and then having to make costly changes later—is hardly a project team’s idea of a good time.

Exploring the shore: Roger Williams University has found a new source of revenue in tapping its scenic waterfront campus to  expand its once tiny summer programs. (Photo: Peter Silvia)<p>

Five years after the Great Recession’s official end, higher ed endowments and fundraising are finally recovering, but there is no rising financial tide that’s lifting all boats—especially smaller ones that depend heavily on tuition.

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