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Articles: Enrollment & Retention

Successful firsts: MIT’s First Generation Program website includes personal snapshots from first-gen students, alumni and faculty.

Along with issues of retention and completion, many first-generation students face day-to-day challenges as they navigate social, academic, financial and administrative challenges. Here are 24 ways colleges can support first-generation students in every aspect and stage of student life.

New football teams continue to take the field at colleges and universities each fall, overcoming criticism—from within higher ed and from outside—that sports programs not only suck up money desperately needed by academic departments but also drive up tuition and student fees.

Dartmouth College has launched a new campaign to combat harmful student behavior, including sexual assault and high-risk drinking.

Under the “Moving Dartmouth Forward” plan, the Ivy League school will no longer serve hard alcohol (30 proof or higher) on campus and will increase penalties for underage students found in possession of hard alcohol. Also in the works:

Columbia College in Missouri is vastly expanding its athletics program, but  officials have no plans to add a football program.

The athletic department at Columbia College in Missouri will have tripled in size by the 2016-17 school year. But it has no plans to field a football team, says Cindy Potter, the associate director of athletics.

In 2012, the college—which has about 1,100 students attending class on its “day” campus and another 25,000-plus in various evening, extension and online programs throughout the country—added men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s cross country, and women’s soccer. By 2016, the Columbia Cougars will also compete in men’s and women’s track, and baseball.

Karine Joly says SnapChat may be a useful recruiting tool for colleges and universities.

You’ve tamed Twitter, made inroads with Instagram and finessed Facebook.

Now you can take a break from keeping up with the social networking habits of college students, right?

Think again.

While a few colleges are still trying to grasp the intricacies of the top social platforms, early adopters have been exploring other platforms for communications and marketing.

Among the many hopefuls, SnapChat has started to get real traction on college campuses.

Active 24/7, b-school buildings are often a campus within a campus and tend to be the envy of educators in other departments. They are the technology-rich, active learning environments designed to feel welcoming and bright at any hour of the day, with multiple gathering spaces that provide venues for everything from a small event to a gala reception.

Preventing flu at Mizzou: University of Missouri got more students to get a flu vaccination by  folding the cost into the per-semester student health fee and by offering the shot at locations throughout campus.

Advance planning the key to preventing and managing infectious diseases on campus. College and university officials acknowledge that the most common communicable disease they must address is the flu, but they're also creating emergency preparedness plans to help prevent outbreaks of rarer illnesses like meningitis.

Promos such as these remind off-campus residents to be neighborly in Fort Collins. Sophomores transitioning from on-campus housing attend a “Where I Live” workshop covering living expenses and rental agreements. Each August, staff, residents, and campus and city police hit the streets to distribute information on city residence codes and laws. And during a fall community cleanup, students offer to rake leaves and wash windows for their neighbors.

From dealing with an increase in student housing to managing off-campus student conduct, Colorado State University and the city of Fort Collins have a more than decade-long partnership that’s become a model for other higher ed institutions and their hometowns.

All offices involved in student success are now, for the first time, housed together in the new 230,000-square-foot University Crossing student center. The building also links the South, North and East campuses with the city’s downtown business district and cultural attractions.

Communicable diseases that can impact college and university campuses run the gamut from mumps to measles.

Although flu is the most common infectious disease on college campuses, trailing not far behind it is chlamydia, one of the sexually transmitted diseases most prevalent among young adults.

To help diagnose and treat students for the disease, which can cause infertility in women, the University of Missouri in Columbia has offered free testing events for both chlamydia and gonorrhea at several locations on campus and in the community. Triggered by the CDC’s “GYT” (Get Yourself Tested) initiative, the university last fall increased the testing to twice a month.

With a design to do things their own way, Generation Z, or people ages 16 to 19, could change higher ed.

Aaron Mahl is a consultant with Scannell & Kurz.

For many, Jan. 1 signifies a day of great college football bowl games, highly caloric leftover holiday food, and time with family and friends ringing in the New Year. However, for those working in financial aid offices at colleges or universities across the country, the start of the new year signals the beginning of financial aid season.

Marc C. Whitt is a 32-year veteran of higher education public relations and marketing.

For the first few months of a New Year, many of us are eager to get physically fit. And those of us who work in PR and marketing must stay professionally fit by remaining relevant to meet and even surpass those needs our institutions will always have. We must stay ahead of the curve as we present ourselves as strategic communicator whose expertise and counsel can be trusted.

The number of college students with dependent children has been growing, with 4.8 million U.S. undergrads raising children.

Yet, campus-based child care has been declining, according to a new analysis of 2013 U.S. Department of Education data by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

In 2013, nearly seven in 10 borrowers owed less than $25,000 in college debt, according to the College Board. (Click to enlarge)

Might the cliche of the forever-indebted college student someday become a fable?

According to a new College Board report, total college student debt for 2013-14 is down by $8.7 billion from the previous school year, with students having borrowed $106 billion. This is the third consecutive year American student borrowing has decreased.