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Articles: Admissions

College and university administrators, already aware of their obligations to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, (“Title IX”), are facing rapid changes and uncertainty in addressing the rights of transgender students. Though issues involving the rights of transgender students were rare as recently as a few years ago, it is likely that almost all post-secondary schools will need to accommodate the rights of transgender students in this decade.

Special delivery, 18th Century style: A student dressed as George Washington delivers acceptance letters to Washington College applicants in the region—proving that innovative doesn’t have to mean high-tech when it comes to admissions tactics.

There was a time when colleges and universities could put their best marketing message out to the masses, and wait for students to respond and express interest. Today, it’s about being aggressive without being pushy, being more student-focused without being intrusive, and being more open to digital communication without sacrificing authenticity.

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.

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.

Higher ed leaders expect modest enrollment increases in the coming year. (Click to enlarge graphic)

From declining numbers of traditional-age high school graduates and changing student demographics, to the overall concern among consumers about the value of a higher education, anxiety will haunt enrollment administrators moving forward.

Former Yale professor William Deresiewicz has caused some controversy with his latest book, "Excellent Sheep."

In 2008, former Yale professor William Deresiewicz's scathing essay on elite colleges and universities went viral, gaining more than 100,000 views in a matter of weeks. His book Excellent Sheep: Thinking for Yourself, Inventing Your Life, and Other Things the Ivy League Won’t Teach You continues the theme.

Colleges and universities balance questions of safety and discrimination when asking about criminal histories on applications.

In an era where many campus security efforts are being amplified, some schools are relaxing certain policies around prospective students’ criminal backgrounds.

Beginning in 2016, when prospective students to the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (Ind.) submit their SAT scores and transcripts, they’ll be asked to take a personality quiz to help the school determine who has the right stuff to succeed.

“I’ve always felt there’s something missing in admissions, something that we can do better,” says Jim Goecker, vice president of enrollment management and strategic communication.

Digitized recordkeeping streamlines processes for staff working in Admissions and Records while also providing students with access to forms at any time.

Higher education administrators looking to increase efficiency frequently cite document management as a major roadblock. Even so, the numerous flaws in the system used by the College of the Desert’s admissions and records department went beyond the typical woes.

Applicants with dreams of attending Portland State now learn the outcome of their applications at least two weeks earlier than before.

Applications from prospective Portland State University students and all supplementary materials are captured electronically and automatically routed for processing. This digital record keeping continues as students matriculate. Integration with Banner gives admissions counselors and others the ability to view student records without touching a single piece of paper.

More transfer students will now have the chance to obtain an associate degree—with-out extra administrative burden—thanks to a Lumina Foundation grant that National Student Clearinghouse received to provide an automated solution for exchanging reverse transfer student data.

At Northern Arizona University, a convocation is held for international students. NAU's International Student and Scholar Services department offers a range of orientation programs.

Recruiting students from outside the U.S. can have big pay-offs when interest in this group is at an all-time high. A recent report shows enrollment of international students at U.S. colleges and universities increased by seven percent to a record high of 819,644 students in the 2012-13 academic year.

India and China are sending the most students to U.S. colleges to study STEM subjects.

The American higher education system still holds a global appeal, attracting nearly 1 million international students as of July, and more than one-third of these students are traveling stateside to study STEM fields. That’s according to the latest quarterly report from the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, “SEVIS by the Numbers.”

While the vast majority of international students adhere to high-quality practices when applying to U.S. higher education institutions, there is a real issue of those who don’t – and who take steps to game whatever systems are in place to gain access to an institution, misrepresenting themselves along the way.

The number of students identifying as belonging to a community of color has doubled since Frankin & Marshall College has invested more in need-based aid and phased out merit scholarships.

Financial aid is in a state of flux, but an institution’s size and selectivity offer clues to what kind of student assistance gets prioritized.

Some public flagships and less-selective private schools are using increased merit aid to lure higher achievers from more prestigious private schools, while some highly selective colleges and universities are phasing out merit aid as they give more need-based assistance to bring lower-income students to campus.

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