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Articles: Admissions

Some of the nation’s leading film schools, of course, are nestled in the heart of Hollywood. Enter stage left—the Los Angeles Film School.

Making connections: Christine Siegel (left), associate VP for  academic affairs at Fairfield University, and grad student Stacie  Miles (right) help support students in the early college program—such as Brieanna Daniels, a senior attending high school in neighboring Bridgeport—to succeed in their college courses.

In the fall of 2012, Connecticut neighbors Fairfield University, University of Bridgeport and Housatonic Community College launched a dual-enrollment program, which initially served 78 high school students. From Bridgeport Public Schools, the students got a chance to take college-level courses for simultaneous high school and college credit.

Administrators in the IT department at the University of Ottawa help get staff in other business units excited about CRM by explaining its benefits. (Photo: Sang Trinh)

Vanderbilt University’s medical school is among the best in the country, but its officials still wanted to create awareness of it with prospective students—those who are only in high school.

The undergraduate admissions office had deployed a constituent relationship management (CRM) system, but university officials knew from the outset that the system could be used across campus to share information and target students for specialized programs.

When Colorado legalized marijuana for recreational use in January, many people also noted a simultaneous jump—nearly 30 percent—in out-of-state student applications to the University of Colorado, Boulder. The reason, says Director of Admissions Kevin MacLennan, was not the pursuit of “higher education” but merely the fact that the state also began allowing the Common Application.

Part-time students and their needs need not get lost when continuing education gets decentralized. Fairfield U reaches out to its part-timers, many of whom have young children, with events such as the Halloween-themed “Night at the Museum,” held this fall on campus at the Bellarmine Art Museum.

With funding cuts, falling enrollments and increased competition from MOOCs and other low-cost online programs, higher education has been under enormous pressure in recent years. But pressure often leads to positive change, and many schools are looking at continuing education as an ideal area for that change.

Jacqueline Gregory is director of enrollment management marketing for RuffaloCODY.

These days, institutions can’t say they fully “control” their recruitment and enrollment process—but they can adjust to how prospective students and their families are navigating it.

How an institution labels its continuing education division often reflects its mission or goals. Below are some examples of terminology used in the field—and insight into why each institution made that choice.

Center for Lifelong Learning

Santa Barbara Community College (Calif.)

Officials recently broke down the CE division and integrated many previously free, noncredit offerings into a new Center for Lifelong Learning, which now generates revenue. It serves a wide array of community members, especially nontraditional-aged students seeking personal enrichment.

Leon Botstein says of college admissions: “It’s not an objective process. It’s completely subjective.”

Bard College in New York made news last fall when President Leon Botstein announced that prospective students would no longer be required to submit their grades, SAT or ACT scores, teacher recommendations or the typical personal essay. Instead they will now be able to apply to Bard by writing four analytic papers—10,000 words total—chosen from a variety of weighty, thought-provoking topics.

It is a given these days for enrollment managers to be well aware of the national, regional, and state high school graduation demographic trends that shape the U.S. higher education landscape.

The eighth edition of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education’s “Knocking at the College Door,” for example, paints a clear picture of projections in aggregate numbers and race/ethnicity patterns. If you have studied the maps developed by WICHE, you know that:

Students who aren’t accepted to the University of South Carolina main campus this spring may still receive some good news with their rejection letters.

Rob Thompson, director of academic and core applications, Wayne State University

More is not always better, as Wayne State University discovered. Like many universities, Wayne State relied on a dual system where applicants submitted some information online, and other information using paper forms. The result was a clumsy and redundant process.

College enrollment plummeted by half a million students in fall 2012 after several years of strong growth, the U.S. Census Bureau says.

The number of graduate and undergraduate students fell last year after increasing by 3.2 million between 2006 and 2011. The decline was led by a drop of 419,000 in students 25 and older. The number of young students fell by only 48,000.

Automating admissions has made accepts,  defers, declines, and deposits move faster at Royal Roads University.

For over a decade, potential Royal Roads University (British Columbia) students have been able to submit their applications for admission online. But Royal Roads’ response to applicants had remained paper-based until recently.

Contrary to many media reports, the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the latest challenge to affirmative action, Fisher v. University of Texas, is likely to have a large impact on the future of admissions policies. The Supreme Court did not immediately decide the fate of Abigail Fisher, the white plaintiff who challenged the use of race in admissions, but instead returned the case to the lower court for further review. Many interpreted the decision as allowing affirmative action policies to survive as is.

The Supreme Court’s ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin provides little guidance for admissions officers looking to reassess their own affirmative action policies.

The Supreme Court issued a 7-1 decision on Monday, June 24 directing the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to reexamine the case, saying it applied the incorrect standard of review and therefore the case shouldn’t have even reached a higher court. It did not, however, comment on the merits of UT Austin’s admissions policy.