Articles: Enrollment & Retention

It's hard to believe that it's been 10 years since brand marketing first swept higher education. During that time we have seen countless colleges and universities launch and develop brand strategies.

In today's difficult economy, colleges and universities are suffering like they never have before. Fundraising levels have dropped dramatically, and the amount donated annually by supporters is roughly half of what it was a few years ago.

When competing for top students, many colleges are finding that offering merit awards or generous need-based packages is no longer enough to win the day. Academically successful students typically have multiple offers from which to choose.

The financial pressures on institutions and the scrutiny on spending continue. But campus administrative offices also continue to find new ways to change their practices for the better.

The recession has certainly forced everyone to do more with less, but financial aid administrators are dealing with a new level of this challenge. As with all campus offices, financial aid office resources and funding are being frozen or cut due to tight campus budgets.

In 2006, Northeastern University enrolled students from 42 countries, representing 4 percent of the freshman class. By 2009, the university had increased those numbers to 61 countries and 11 percent, along the way adding 932 new high schools sending students to Boston.

Just for a day I became a student again, and the opportunity to learn from that perspective about the University of Idaho was priceless.

The 1798 poem "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge states, "Water, water everywhere / Nor any drop to drink."

Mark Edlen, a Portland developer and businessman with Gerding Edlen, sees the commitment to sustainability as both a political movement and a business strategy, as noted in an April 14, 2010 article in The Oregonian.

When colleges and universities start assessing their carbon footprint, the IT department is likely to come under fire by virtue of having oversight of much of the energy consumption on campus. Just how much energy do IT functions account for?

With rising student loan debt, a tough job market for recent graduates, and a tougher default standard higher education institutions will have to meet in 2014, strengthening default prevention efforts is an imperative.

The campus bookstore at Tallahassee Community College (Fla.) uncovered a problem in the course of its annual student survey. "What we noticed last spring was that more and more students were not buying textbooks, period," says Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Teresa Smith.

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