George Covino, USA Funds Vice President, Consulting
George Covino, USA Funds Vice President, Consulting
The goal of retaining students—and seeing them through to degree completion—has become the focus of numerous research initiatives, articles, technology solutions and intervention strategies. While most of the studies reach very different conclusions, most researchers seem to agree that no one factor holds the key to student persistence. How can higher education leaders accurately predict attrition risk using the same factors and weightings across all student cohorts and across a wide range of types of institutions?
Rising student debt and lack of financial literacy among college students are issues of growing concern to higher ed leaders, particularly those focused on non-academic drivers of student success. In this web seminar, presenters discussed the findings of a major national study conducted by Everfi Inc. and sponsored by Higher One Inc., Money Matters on Campus: How Early Attitudes and Behaviors Affect the Financial Decisions of First-Year College Students. The study surveyed 65,000 first-time college students across the U.S. to gain a better understanding of the significant predictors of both positive and negative financial behaviors among young, college-bound adults.
Linda Ding, Education Program Strategist, Laserfiche
What are the main concerns students and the community have concerning the affordability of higher education?
There are two major concerns that seem to be the most popular worries of students and the general public.
In this country, 25 states have enacted some form of legislation tying financial aid eligibility to student outcomes. At the same time, students are demanding more options and greater flexibility for achieving their goals, with one in nine likely to transfer to another school after one year. Welcome to higher education in the 21st century, in which funding, student outcomes, competition, and academic delivery are converging into a super storm that threatens the survival of many institutions.
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College in North Carolina has undertaken an ambitious technology strategy across the institution to simplify the student experience, increase access to technology for students regardless of socioeconomic status and enable access to multiple tools that students will use later in the workforce. Key to these initiatives has been implementing Google Apps for Education as part of an overall cloud strategy. In this web seminar, the CIO of Rowan-Cabarrus shared how this strategy has simplified staff development, created a paperless culture and enabled new levels of student collaboration.
USA Funds and Truckee Meadows Community College in Nevada have partnered to promote a holistic approach to student loan debt management. The partnership has included implementing a financial literacy curriculum and peer counselors for TMCC students, communicating to student loan borrowers to promote successful loan repayment, applying analytics to better target outreach to borrowers, and launching an institution-wide “college completion” summit. Attendees in this web seminar heard from a leader at TMCC and an industry expert about the keys to developing a holistic approach to student loan debt management at any institution.
Kris Alban, Vice President of iGrad
What trends related to financial literacy are emerging?
Financial literacy will likely become a mandatory initiative for colleges in the near future. We expect the next higher ed reauthorization to require financial literacy initiatives for student loan borrowers. Many students taking out loans right now don’t understand enough about what they’re getting into. They often borrow amounts that far exceed the earning potential for their chosen field of study.
When does an online bookstore make sense?
Most bookstores that are on campus are threatened by external competition. Students are already shopping around for the best value when acquiring their course materials. It has become more difficult to meet their expectations. Many want lower-cost alternatives to new and used, such as rental, digital and marketplace options. If textbook sales are steadily declining at the physical bookstore, institution leaders may want to look at replacing the location with an online bookstore. Or maybe it makes sense to expand spiritwear and convenience items in the physical store, and for the sake of space, margin and overhead, to move textbooks online.
What is the value to institutions in making energy efficiency a priority?
At the Lone Star College System, we have made it a priority to be as energy efficient as possible for a few reasons: We believe that if we can have the budget stability and predictability that results from being more efficient, we can redirect saved funds to our core mission of educating students. Also, despite the fact that our institutional mission is focused on students and teaching and learning, the focus of our board is to make sure our long term finances are in good shape. Being energy efficient helps facilitate that.
Tom Fitzgerald, CEO, E&I Cooperative Services
There’s no denying it: today’s higher ed administrators are facing enormous financial challenges. As tuitions have steadily increased, revenue from the state and federal government has continued to drop. Student loan debt has reached epic proportions, eclipsing the $1 trillion mark in 2011. According to the Princeton Review, college affordability is now one of the primary concerns of high school seniors. The competition to attract students is intense, and the demand to retain those students and increase graduation rates is fierce.
In the last few years, video in education has gone from a luxury addition to a must-have item. Video-use cases went from simple lecture capture to a myriad of creative possibilities—from teacher-student collaborations, to CampusTubes, to in-video quizzes and interactive tools, and more—available anywhere, on any device. Cross-campus video deployment serves to engage students and faculty, to enhance results and to extend your institution’s reach. In this web seminar, experts shared some of the current and future trends of video in education based on an extensive survey conducted with over 500 leading educators.
What are the biggest challenges facing higher education as a business?
There are a few challenges that institutions face today. For such a long time, many were in a continuous growth pattern, developing new programs and online programs for receptive audiences. That certainly is not the case today. Many institutions are experiencing flat enrollment and some are seeing it decline. It is a market share game, in that there is not a tremendous amount of new students looking for an education as there was in past years.
What does the typical student of today look like compared to the student of five or 10 years ago? Who is the new “traditional” college student?
The non-traditional adult learner is now more prevalent than the traditional college student who comes straight from high school. This is where the market is growing, and the colleges and universities that are successful in achieving their enrollment goals are targeting efforts toward these new “traditional” adult students instead of ignoring this demographic and continuing to focus all efforts on attracting
high school graduates.