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Articles: Enrollment & Retention

Asian and Pacific Islander Family Night at Des Moines Area Community College.

Des Moines is becoming more diverse, with a growing population of Latinos, Asians and Africans. The events are aimed at creating a college-going culture in local communities, and give families direction on career choice, applying to college, and paying for college.

The College-Bound Student E-Expectations Survey asked 3,000 college-bound high school seniors and juniors about their digital habits and expectations—from the start of the recruiting cycle. Here’s a selection of the top insights from the study.

Aaron Mahl is a vice president and consultant at Ruffalo Noel Levitz.

Large public universities and smaller liberal arts colleges, on the other hand, are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain their male enrollments. The National Center for Education Statistics projects that, by 2020, men will represent only 41 percent of college enrollees.

Strengthening the community: An entire residence hall at Onondaga Community College is now dedicated to about a dozen themed living/learning communities—proving you need not be at a four-year institution to experience the living/learning experience.

A dozen or so living-learning communities at Onondaga Community College are designed around themes such as wellness, criminal justice and STEM. About 30 percent of students who live on campus will be a part of such of community this school year.

Almost all U.S. colleges and universities now award certificates, digital badges and other forms of microcredentials. Driving this fast-growing trend are workforce millennials who want to learn, for instance, how to operate an Amazon delivery drone or repair a self-driving car without having to earn another degree.

At the University of Oregon’s Collegiate Recovery Center, students can relax in a lounge with free coffee and tea.

To combat a surge in opioid overdoses and continued abuse of alcohol, colleges and universities are expanding services and facilities that aim to keep students in class as they recover from addiction. 

Female graduates receive fewer solicitations for donations, and they give at a lower rate than do their male counterparts, according to the “Alumni Engagement and Giving” survey by Alumni Monitor, a higher education consulting service.

John L. Gann, Jr., consults, trains, and writes on marketing. He is author of "The Third Lifetime Place: A New Economic Opportunity for College Towns."

Although their leaders might claim otherwise, ratings by U.S. News, Princeton Review and others are of outsized importance to universities today. But what about the many colleges that didn’t rank high with these reviewers? How can they compete with the list-toppers?

Need-based financial aid was supposed to give everyone an opportunity to get into college and better their lives and career prospects. Nearly half of the public, four-year colleges studied in a new report leave the most financially needy students on the hook for more than $10,000 of debt per school year.

Just hours before it was scheduled to be administered in June, the ACT college admission test was canceled in South Korea and Hong Kong. Approximately 5,500 international students were turned away from testing centers after ACT Inc. announced that it had received credible evidence that test materials in these regions had been leaked in advance, thus compromising the integrity of the exams.

Jeffrey R. Docking is the president of Adrian College in Michigan and the author of "Crisis in Higher Education: A Plan To Save Small Liberal Arts Colleges in America."

Sometimes, well-known propositions lead to predictable conclusions. But not always. Occasionally, they lead to surprises—and even busted myths. Here’s one: Wealthy, private institutions willing to invest large endowments in financial aid for poorer students do the best job of expanding access to higher education.

Remember the “Flutie Effect”? That’s the claim that Boston College applications increased as a result of Doug Flutie’s last-second Hail Mary pass that won a football game against the defending champs from the University of Miami. Now we may be seeing the opposite—let’s call it the Scandal Side Effect—where a school’s bad publicity can drive applicants away.

Out in front with OER: Tidewater Community College created the first degree program—in business administration—to use only open-educational resources.

A few dozen community colleges will get financial backing to design degree programs based wholly on free, open educational resources (OER) in a sweeping effort to make higher ed more affordable. Full-time community college students spend about $1,300 a year on textbooks, ultimately representing about a third of the cost of their associate degrees.

Campus contributors: UT seniors David McDonald and Christle Nwora stand with Gregory J. Vincent, VP for diversity and community engagement. McDonald and Nwora were honored for their efforts in civil rights and social justice with the university’s Heman Sweatt Student Legacy Award in May 2016. (Photo: Shelton Lewis)

Many people see the Supreme Court's decision in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin as a substantial victory in the continuing effort to level the playing field of higher ed admissions.

University of Maine has been strategic in offering discounted tuition to students in certain states. (Gettyimages.com: Crossroadscreative)

Students from six nearby states can now attend the University of Maine at the same in-state tuition rate offered by the flagship institutions in their home states.

The university launched its Flagship Match program this spring to boost not just its enrollment, but also prestige.

As completion rates of full-time students in Maine flounder and high school graduation numbers fall in the Northeast (by a predicted 5 percent in the next five years), university leaders look outside the state to fill classrooms.

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