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Articles: Enrollment & Retention

With a design to do things their own way, Generation Z, or people ages 16 to 19, could change higher ed.

Marc C. Whitt is a 32-year veteran of higher education public relations and marketing.

For the first few months of a New Year, many of us are eager to get physically fit. And those of us who work in PR and marketing must stay professionally fit by remaining relevant to meet and even surpass those needs our institutions will always have. We must stay ahead of the curve as we present ourselves as strategic communicator whose expertise and counsel can be trusted.

The number of college students with dependent children has been growing, with 4.8 million U.S. undergrads raising children.

Yet, campus-based child care has been declining, according to a new analysis of 2013 U.S. Department of Education data by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

In 2013, nearly seven in 10 borrowers owed less than $25,000 in college debt, according to the College Board. (Click to enlarge)

Might the cliche of the forever-indebted college student someday become a fable?

According to a new College Board report, total college student debt for 2013-14 is down by $8.7 billion from the previous school year, with students having borrowed $106 billion. This is the third consecutive year American student borrowing has decreased.

A majority of higher ed leaders expect modest to significant increases in tuition revenue in 2015. (Click to enlarge chart)

Multiple forces are pushing institutions to change from the financial status quo. Institutions are feeling more pressure to advocate for state higher ed funding, prove their value to students and support the simplification of debt repayment. Yet some campus leaders might just be fine with the opportunities that scrutiny can bring, and in many cases, administrators are meeting those challenges.

Ohio State, Arizona State, Creighton (Neb.), Bentley (Mass.), George Mason (Va.) and Purdue (Ind.) universities are among the first that have hired Gallup to survey their alumni to gather data on their graduates’ well-being and workplace engagement.

Higher ed leaders expect modest enrollment increases in the coming year. (Click to enlarge graphic)

From declining numbers of traditional-age high school graduates and changing student demographics, to the overall concern among consumers about the value of a higher education, anxiety will haunt enrollment administrators moving forward.

Colleges and universities expect to add students in 2015, though no institutions anticipate significant growth or decline in any enrollment sectors, according to a UB survey of higher ed administrators

Fifty-six percent of respondents say overall enrollment will grow modestly in 2015, while only 11 percent are bracing for modest decreases. No respondents anticipate significant decreases.

Student success and controlling costs are the top priorities for higher ed leaders in2 015. (Click to enlarge graphic)

Experts in higher education administration and management predict that 2015 will bring intense and sometimes surprising governance, financial and legal challenges to the sea of potential worries for university leaders. A few critical issues that will bubble to the surface involve financial health, academic performance, student wellness and continuity in leadership.

Higher ed thought leaders and reader surveys provide insights into what's ahead for colleges and universities in 2015.

To help our readers navigate the coming year in higher education, University Business proudly presents Outlook 2015. In-depth stories cover the major trends impacting administration and management, enrollment and retention, finance, facilities, technology, and teaching and learning. We interviewed administrators and other experts in each of these topics to capture their predictions about what 's on the horizon for colleges and universities.

The contemporary campus recreation center has graduated from yesterday’s dingy weight room. In fact, at many institutions, the rec center serves as a multipurpose space, hosting celebrations on special occasions and promoting student wellness in body and mind throughout the semester.

Billboards promoting the Meredith College "Going Strong" brand can be spotted throughout the Raleigh, N.C., area and beyond.

When you think “rebranding campaign,” it most likely conjures up images of marketing and communications officers meeting with the school president and board of trustees to toil over logo colors, mascots and slogans. In reality, it’s a much more complex process, involving the entire school community.

There are few economic challenges that move the dial in America quite like the skyrocketing costs of higher ed. From early morning pundits to late night talk shows the student and family debt burden issue is clear and ever present.

In the view of U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren - "Rising student-loan debt is an economic emergency…Forty million people are dealing with $1.2 trillion in outstanding student debt. It's stopping young people from buying homes, from buying cars and from starting small businesses. We need to take action."

Former Yale professor William Deresiewicz has caused some controversy with his latest book, "Excellent Sheep."

In 2008, former Yale professor William Deresiewicz's scathing essay on elite colleges and universities went viral, gaining more than 100,000 views in a matter of weeks. His book Excellent Sheep: Thinking for Yourself, Inventing Your Life, and Other Things the Ivy League Won’t Teach You continues the theme.

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.