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Articles: Enrollment & Retention

Colleges and universities balance questions of safety and discrimination when asking about criminal histories on applications.

In an era where many campus security efforts are being amplified, some schools are relaxing certain policies around prospective students’ criminal backgrounds.

Beginning in 2016, when prospective students to the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (Ind.) submit their SAT scores and transcripts, they’ll be asked to take a personality quiz to help the school determine who has the right stuff to succeed.

“I’ve always felt there’s something missing in admissions, something that we can do better,” says Jim Goecker, vice president of enrollment management and strategic communication.

Bill Berg is an enrollment management consultant at Scannell & Kurz, a RuffaloCODY company.

The often-used businesses term “right-sizing” has in recent years become common in higher education. Though sometimes used as a euphemism for “downsizing,” it more rightly refers to an effort to optimize enrollment, human resources, programs and facilities—in other words, fixed costs.

There are a host of factors that should go into the analysis when an institution is attempting to match demand with its capacity to meet that demand.

Power nap pod: EnergyPods at Saint Leo U help students and faculty catch up on zzz’s.

Saint Leo University installed four "EnergyPods" in a residence hall common room to give a boost to students who may have let their sleep patterns slip. The Central Florida school is not alone in providing nap space beyond hard library desks and random couches.

Located in Myrtle Hall, the Pratt Institute’s Bursar and Financial Aid offices have taken a holistic approach to serving students.

Managing personal finance is difficult enough for working professionals. For college students, it can be almost impossible. Part of the reason is that there are multiple finance-related aspects to higher education, and they have different, often confusing languages, says Nedi Goga, executive director of student financial services and compliance at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.

Digitized recordkeeping streamlines processes for staff working in Admissions and Records while also providing students with access to forms at any time.

Higher education administrators looking to increase efficiency frequently cite document management as a major roadblock. Even so, the numerous flaws in the system used by the College of the Desert’s admissions and records department went beyond the typical woes.

Applicants with dreams of attending Portland State now learn the outcome of their applications at least two weeks earlier than before.

Applications from prospective Portland State University students and all supplementary materials are captured electronically and automatically routed for processing. This digital record keeping continues as students matriculate. Integration with Banner gives admissions counselors and others the ability to view student records without touching a single piece of paper.

Increasing enrollment is a priority for many institutions. The race is on to create a marketplace distinction in order to attract new students and to retain current students. As if this challenge weren’t enough, colleges and universities are faced with rising costs, reduced endowments and smaller budgets. As campus leaders look for ways to leverage their resources and still accomplish their enrollment and growth goals, one viable strategy is to recognize the role that physical facilities have on student attraction and retention.

Opinions, please: The Creative Collection wall, set up in the Marlboro  College dining hall, invited ideas, words and drawings that were used to shape the institution's branding campaign.

Clark University (Mass.)

  • Clark welcomed its first full class under the Liberal Education and Effective Practice program in fall 2013.
  • A record 7,291 students applied to be part of Clark’s class of 2018, a 31 percent increase over last year’s numbers and a 70 percent rise over two years.

Mount Ida College (Mass.)

The number of Americans age 18 to 21, the traditional college age, has decreased by nearly 700,000 since 2011—from 18.1 to 17.4 million—according to research from the University of Virginia. With this decline, many colleges could turn to older non-first-time students to maintain enrollment numbers and financial goals.

More transfer students will now have the chance to obtain an associate degree—with-out extra administrative burden—thanks to a Lumina Foundation grant that National Student Clearinghouse received to provide an automated solution for exchanging reverse transfer student data.

 Students and staff weighed in on insti-tutional goals via question-based missions.

Emerson College tapped its own Engagement Game Lab to create a series of online missions that allow students, faculty, staff and alumni to share ideas about the goals President Lee Pelton has set for the Boston school.

Paying students to explore entrepreneurial ideas: Hope College in Michigan pays students $10 an hour for up to 10 hours a week when they enroll in entrepreneurial programs offered by its Center for Faithful Leadership (CFL).

Many administrators say a significant number of students are willing to pay for residence halls that have more in common with modern hotels than with the cramped, concrete-block dormitories built in the 1960s and 70s. However, questions of who can—and can’t—afford the higher rates may arise around the housing allocation process as campus living becomes more luxurious.

At the end of the 2014 Little League World Series star pitcher Mo’ne Davis got the call of her life. Mo’ne is only in 8th grade but already she has new learning and earning options. Head Coach of the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team Geno Auriemma acknowledged the 13 year old’s athletic prowess with a congratulatory phone call. A few days later Auriemma was hit with a recruiting violation – go figure. “That’s the world that we live in” said Geno Auriemma in response to the NCAA ruling. It is indeed.