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Articles: Admissions

The “nontraditional” student represents perhaps the single biggest growth area for higher ed enrollment. But no single set of characteristics defines that student.

Active members of the military represent their own component of the nontraditional population.

MAY THE FORCE BE WITH THEM—Graduates of USC’s Neighborhood Academic Initiative—a rigorous college-prep program for students from low-income communities near campus—got a ceremonial visit from actor Mark Hamill,  of Luke Skywalker and Star Wars fame, and some of his fictional antagonists.

A small change in admissions at many of the most selective colleges and universities could make a big difference to low-income learners. 

Roberto A. Santizo is a senior enrollment management consultant with Ruffalo Noel Levitz.

In a survey, nearly two-thirds of private institutions and about half of publics indicated they would attempt to provide financial aid packages earlier than usual.

Daniel Karpowitz, the director of policy and national programs of Bard College’s Prison Initiative, wrote College in Prison: Reading in an Age of Mass Incarceration, which examines the success—and struggles—of a partnership between a private New York college and the modern penitentiary system.

Bard College’s Prison Initiative, also known as BPI, focuses on the importance of the liberal arts in public life.

PURCHASE PURSUIT—Purdue President Mitch Daniels is framing the Kaplan acquisition as a way for the university to become a digital player in the evolving postsecondary education space.

Purdue University surprised its faculty and the general higher ed sector this spring with its plans to acquire Kaplan University for a symbolic $1 (with a revenue-share plan spanning 30 years).

Ian Mortimer was searching for a way to make communication with prospective students at Nazareth College in western New York easier without picking up the phone or sending an email. 

“One of the problems we were facing was having that one-way connection,” says Mortimer, who is vice president for Enrollment Management at Nazareth. “We wanted to find something so we could have a conversation versus just a one-way connection.” 

Leslie Crosley is a higher ed enrollment management consultant for Ruffalo Noel Levitz. Jim Scannell recently retired as senior consultant for enrollment management at Ruffalo Noel Levitz and is the former president of Scannell & Kurz.

Now more than ever, enrollment leadership requires a coordinated campus team to respond to emerging internal challenges as well as shifting external forces.

Leaders at Marlboro College hope to increase enrollment by 50 percent. At a university such as Ohio State, this would mean adding the population of a small city along with rows of new residence halls and high-tech classrooms.

14 percent of students started their postsecondary education in a community college, then transferred to a four-year school and earned a bachelor’s degree within six years of entry.

If colleges choose to simply shutter older structures and let them sit unoccupied, it's important to remember that honesty is the best policy during campus tours, says David Hawkins, executive director for educational content and policy for the National Association for College Admission Counseling. (GettyImages.com: FozzyB)

The combination of the campus expansion boom of the past decade and the recent flattening of enrollment rates continues to create a significant backlog of deferred maintenance at many institutions, says report.

BEHIND THE SCENES—Taylor Hale, a GW college senior from Detroit, Michigan, filming live during the college’s Facebook Live tour.

The George Washington University live-streamed a campus tour via Facebook Live in December. It’s the first time the platform’s live-video streaming service has been used for that purpose, administrators at GW believe.

Leslie Crosley is a higher ed enrollment management consultant for Ruffalo Noel Levitz.

When campus marketing departments and admissions offices collaborate, valuable strategic alignments can be formed. Well-coordinated teams ensure that institutional branding messages speak to recruitment needs, while the recruiting messages encourage brand awareness and market penetration. 

INSPIRING ACTIVITIES—Students get to begin bonding with future classmates on Instant Admissions Day at Unity College in Maine. They also get some certainty about their higher ed futures.

Instant Admissions Day at Unity College in Maine provides benefits beyond the immediate acceptance of students’ applications. This accelerated enrollment approach provides a clearer picture of the 700-student private college’s incoming class.

Jim Scannell is senior consultant for enrollment management for Ruffalo Noel Levitz. He is the former president of Scannell & Kurz.

As demographic, economic and market volatility continue to challenge higher ed’s ability to enroll a sufficient number of students able to take advantage of the educational opportunities available, understanding and advancing your institution’s value proposition should be at the top of the to-do agenda.

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