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Articles: Admissions

Millennials, the generation born between the late 1970s and early 2000s, speak a language all their own. A digital camera is a camera; a cell phone is a phone. They’ve grown up with the internet and are wholly immersed in technology with websites like Amazon and Zappos customized to their individual interests.
The question for higher education enrollment managers is this: Is the viewbook, the crown jewel of the admissions process, ready for a leap into the online world? The answer: A resounding maybe.

Recognizing that IT students at two-year Lake Land College (Ill.) had no nearby transfer option, officials partnered with Eastern Illinois University to allow for transfer of credits toward a four-year degree in Management Information Systems.

Rising high school juniors and seniors are beginning to set their sights on the college admissions process—a long and winding road that typically includes web-based research, counselors, essays, and overnight visits to experience campus cultures.

Sounds good.

Yet, for too many students, these overnights include a different kind of education: underage drinking and intimate sexual behavior, in some cases for the first time.

At The University of Vermont­, a small public research university, officials had realized that mobile would become very important to our stakeholders. It was 2007 and mobile adoption rates had begun to skyrocket. Smart phones had begun to proliferate nationally and at the institution, which has an average combined enrollment of 12,500 undergraduate, graduate, and medical students.

Social media gurus and CRM providers share a vision for a future where CRM and social media go hand in hand. But the idea is in its early stages.

“The CRM system assumes that everything is data, whereas most of what you’re talking about is people and conversations with people,” shares Michael Staton, founder of Inigral, creator of the Schools App. The goal? “A CRM where the entire premise is that you’re interacting, you’re not just logging data about accounts and tracking potential revenue,” he says.

Last August, when a 5.8-magnitude earthquake shook Virginia, people in offices up the East Coast were reading about the quake before they felt their desks not-so-mysteriously begin to wobble. How? Chalk it up to another feat of Twitter (by this time it had already helped topple unruly regimes in the Middle East). During the earthquake, users tweeted at a rate of 5,500 tweets per second, with 40,000 tweets hitting Twitter timelines and TweetDecks in just one minute.

After a somewhat slow start, higher education institutions are increasingly taking advantage of social media to market themselves and keep constituents aware of what they are doing. A recent social media adoption study conducted by the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth shows usage rates are increasing steadily in every year. For example, university Twitter usage jumped from 59 percent in the 2009-2010 school year to 89 percent in the 2010-2011 school year. Similarly, Facebook usage increased dramatically from 61 percent in 2008-2009 to 98 percent in 2010-2011.

Published at the end of January, the Noel-Levitz study on the mobile browsing behaviors and expectations of prospective students provided this list of six items considered to be the most valuable content for mobile experiences: academic program listing, cost/scholarship calculators, calendar of important dates and deadlines, specific details about academic programs, application process summary and online applications forms.

The Millennial generation: they wear flip-flops on their feet, place headphones connected to iPods in their ears, maintain social media profiles, and value the balance between work and life. In terms of learning about higher education options, they go online to find out more about the colleges and universities that are actively recruiting them.

To understand how technology can help improve the college application and enrollment process, as well as the professional lives of college admissions officers, one need look no further than the healthcare profession.

Industry News

Heartland Payment Systems Campus Solutions division has been awarded a contract by the Tennessee Board of Regents System to manage financial aid disbursement and refund management to six universities, 13 community colleges and 27 technology centers. The TBR System manages more than $600 million in annual financial aid refunds.

Since the federal calculator mandate’s October deadline, Student Aid Services has announced that 678 campuses have selected the company’s net price calculators to help families plan how to pay for an education.

Six months into the net price calculator (NPC) requirement, the experiences of many colleges and universities can be best described as “a mixed bag.” Questions or concerns that numerous schools expressed as they put together their plans for the NPC launch have not necessarily been answered: Will the phones start ringing off the hook? How accurate will comparisons be? What is the best location on our website: Should we highlight the NPC or bury it in a hard-to-find spot?

When asked to reflect on the role of higher education in preparing future workers, Bill Gates replied: “Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself...At Microsoft there are lots of brilliant ideas but the image is that they all come from the top—I’m afraid that’s not quite right.” Gates reminds us of the importance of practical, real-world, learning by doing for tomorrow’s Smartcollar science and technology workers.

Genesee Community College, located in upstate New York, and LIM College in Manhattan, have inked a new articulation agreement that allows GCC Fashion Business program students who have completed the outlined requirements to enter the program of their choice as juniors at LIM, which offers majors in Fashion Merchandising, Management, Marketing, and Visual Merchandising. ...

Students sitting in a circle at an outdoor class at St. Lawrence University

After dropping early admissions programs four years ago, Harvard and Princeton reinstated them this year. They received a large number of applicants, which comes as no surprise, but institutions that never ended their early action programs are experiencing increased numbers, as well. “We’re seeing more and more students applying by early action simply to get answers earlier,” notes Tom Weede, chair of NACAC’s Admission Practices Committee and vice president for enrollment at Butler University (Ind.).