You are here

Articles: Admissions

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.

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.

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.

At Northern Arizona University, a convocation is held for international students. NAU's International Student and Scholar Services department offers a range of orientation programs.

Recruiting students from outside the U.S. can have big pay-offs when interest in this group is at an all-time high. A recent report shows enrollment of international students at U.S. colleges and universities increased by seven percent to a record high of 819,644 students in the 2012-13 academic year.

India and China are sending the most students to U.S. colleges to study STEM subjects.

The American higher education system still holds a global appeal, attracting nearly 1 million international students as of July, and more than one-third of these students are traveling stateside to study STEM fields. That’s according to the latest quarterly report from the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, “SEVIS by the Numbers.”

While the vast majority of international students adhere to high-quality practices when applying to U.S. higher education institutions, there is a real issue of those who don’t – and who take steps to game whatever systems are in place to gain access to an institution, misrepresenting themselves along the way.

The number of students identifying as belonging to a community of color has doubled since Frankin & Marshall College has invested more in need-based aid and phased out merit scholarships.

Financial aid is in a state of flux, but an institution’s size and selectivity offer clues to what kind of student assistance gets prioritized.

Some public flagships and less-selective private schools are using increased merit aid to lure higher achievers from more prestigious private schools, while some highly selective colleges and universities are phasing out merit aid as they give more need-based assistance to bring lower-income students to campus.

Colleges and universities are ramping up services for international freshmen and sophomores as administrators increasingly look abroad to further diversify their campuses and to expand enrollment with students who pay full tuition.

Immersion in a long-distance tour is easy when videos are turned into 360-degree experiences through the OculusRift headset.

Admissions officers: Would more students enroll if you could bring your campus and its top-flight learning spaces along on recruiting trips?

That technology—powered by’s online campus tours and a virtual reality headset called the OculusRift—is just over the horizon, now being tested by a small group of institutions.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida

For years, new student orientation at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida required the creation of information packets that were labeled with stickers and contained as many as 10 sheets of paper. The packets, which were prepared by Records and Registration staff with help from other departments, directed students to where they needed to go during orientation.

Admissions/Enrollment Management

Historically, Western Michigan University’s 12 on-staff recruiters could visit as many as 40 or 50 high schools in a week and collect up to 1,000 paper cards filled with prospective students’ contact information. Due to poor handwriting or other errors, not all the information was entered accurately. Then, five weeks could pass before students received any kind of follow-up communication from the university.

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 recent NACAC report echoes growing criticism of the SAT and other standardized tests.

There is no significant difference in the success rates of students who submit standardized test scores to colleges and those who don’t. That’s the summary of a NACAC report, “Defining Promise: Optional Standardized Testing Policies in American College and University Admissions," which looked at nearly 123,000 students at 33 public and private institutions of all sizes.