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Articles: Enrollment & Retention

Just 30 percent of financial aid professionals reported using social media to provide financial literacy content to students.

Financial aid offices that invest time on the major platforms say social media lightens the workload. On a higher level, social networks represent another way to provide students with financial literacy education that can advance institutional goals, including better retention and lower cohort default rates.

Alumni. That’s what alumni association magazines should, to a much greater extent, be about. At least they should if we want them to do better at marketing the university.

Michigan State University ran a Facebook photo contest so students could show experiences made possible by financial aid.

Michigan State University

Social experiment: Facebook Photo contest

Facebook.com/msufinaid/

The idea: To show the positive side of financial aid, Michigan State held a contest that asked students to share a photo of an experience that would not have been possible had they not received aid. Ten students won $500 each.

Say cheese: Most University of Alabama students avoid waiting in line at the Action Card office for an ID by submitting their application online. For anyone unable to access that system or who needs a replacement card, the office is ready to assist.

Regardless of the size of the staff or office, efficient campus card programs share several best practices: A focus on customer service, cutting-edge technology and collaboration with the campus community and beyond.

Down to business: Students will get a chance to work with foreign entrepreneurs through a new program that will invite startups to launch on CUNY campuses.

A new incubator program at the City University of New York that offers foreign entrepreneurs a path to U.S. citizenship will also provide students with a potential front-row seat to the next wave of business innovations.

North Carolina's controversial “Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act" jeopardizes $4.5 billion in federal higher ed funding.

In March, North Carolina passed a law that public colleges and universities require individuals to use restrooms that match their birth gender. Margaret Spellings, president of the University of North Carolina system, which serves more than 220,000 students, confirmed that all 17 campuses will comply.

Jo Allen is president of Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The role of women’s colleges—far beyond their origins in offering access to college degrees—is to help women flourish. Some women’s colleges have focused on women’s leadership; some on career preparation in STEM and other areas where women have been under-represented; and still others on health care, education and areas where women excel.

Accommodations in action: Administrators from several Bentley University departments worked together to help ensure Deyven Ferreras—who entered college with a mechanical device for his weakened heart—could safely and successfully pursue a postsecondary education.

Increasingly, colleges and universities enroll students with a wide array of physical and mental health conditions. Legal guidelines that put the onus on students to request accommodations—plus the departmentalization of services—can make it difficult to come up with a coordinated plan for a student.

Also at UConn: The La Comunidad Intelectual learning community focuses on Caribbean and Latin American cultures.

The University of Connecticut’s recent announcement of a planned learning community intended for first- and second-year African-American male students has reignited a decades-old debate regarding ethnically themed living spaces on campus.

More than half of students go to colleges within 50 miles of their homes.

The twin goals of affordability and diversity dominate the nation’s push to expand access to higher ed, but another critical factor—geography—is drawing more attention for the role it plays in where students go to college.

Wake Forest U’s 2014 commencement speaker, Jill Abramson, was no longer New York Times editor-in-chief when she gave her speech, but the talk was still well received.

Choices for commencement speakers are making headlines this season, and higher ed officials are aiming to make sure those headlines are positive. For one thing, many colleges now prioritize student input and diversity when choosing commencement speakers. 

Jon McGee, vice president for planning and public affairs at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, says many colleges and universities are too focused on the present to prepare for the changes ahead.

In his book, Breakpoint: The Changing Marketplace for Higher Education, Jon McGee says higher education is in the midst of an extraordinary transitional period that has significant implications for how colleges understand their mission, their market and their management.

Jennifer Wick is vice president of Scannell & Kurz higher education enrollment consultants, a Ruffalo Cody company.

The shift to the use of families’ Prior-Prior Year (PPY) financial data on the FAFSA has come to pass. This shift has far-reaching implications not only for timing of financial aid awards, but also in other aspects of enrollment, such as marketing, recruitment and institutional budgeting.

Some campus officials worry energy drinks contribute to students' risky behaviors.

Citing that energy drinks have been linked to health problems, Middlebury College has stopped selling them to students. School officials also suggested the popular beverages, which are often mixed with alcohol, have been involved in incidents of binge drinking, “high-risk sexual activity” and other unsafe behaviors.

With the need to host both one-on-one donor chats plus receptions for a hundred or more alumni and friends, campus alumni houses tend to be versatile venues. While great rooms must have space for that next big event, the aim is for an intimate group not to feel swallowed up by the space.

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