May 16, 2013, 4:55 am
High-school counselors can influence whether ninth-graders whose parents do not have bachelor’s degrees plan to attend college, suggests a report released on Thursday by the National Association for College Admission Counseling.
The report, “Preparing Students for College: What High Schools Are Doing and How Their Actions Influence Ninth Graders’ College Attitudes, Aspirations, and Plans,” is based on an analysis of new, nationally representative data from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009.
That analysis found a relationship between counselors’ interactions with prospective first-generation students and their parents on the one hand and the students’ college aspirations on the other. The time counselors spent on college-going activities had a statistically significant effect, for example, on students’ perception that college was affordable.
Similarly, speaking to a…
May 14, 2013, 3:11 pm
U.S. News & World Report has moved York College of Pennsylvania and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor to its “unranked” category after learning that they had submitted inflated admissions data, according to a blog post on Tuesday by Robert J. Morse, the magazine’s director of data research.
A number of cases of misreported admissions data have surfaced in recent months, including Dominican University of California’s announcement that it had included incomplete applications, making it appear more selective, in data it sent to the U.S. Department of Education.
Officials at York College of Pennsylvania and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, in Texas, each advised U.S. News that they had reported inflated data. In both cases, the inaccuracies resulted in the colleges’ receiving higher rankings than they otherwise would have.
As it has in other cases when revised data would…
May 14, 2013, 2:01 pm
Many programs designed to increase college access try to reach students early. And with good reason: Decisions made starting in middle school can play a large role in determining students’ college options.
So can a program that doesn’t reach students until their senior year still make a difference in college enrollment?
It can, according to a new working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research. But the program the paper examines—which includes both mentoring and cash incentives—made a difference only for women.
The paper, “Late Interventions Matter Too: The Case of College Coaching New Hampshire,” describes the effects of a program designed to reach high-school seniors who are not sure of their college plans, who are intimidated by all they must do to apply, or whose default setting is not to go to college because none of the people closest to them …
May 7, 2013, 1:55 pm
Washington — Preparing disadvantaged students for college work is critical. But there is little evidence that the federal programs meant to do so are effective, and they should be redesigned, according to a new policy brief.
The paper, “Time for Change: A New Federal Strategy to Prepare Disadvantaged Students for College,” reviews research on the TRIO and Gear Up programs. It finds that most of those program evaluations do not meet the evidence standards of the Institute of Education Sciences, the U.S. Department of Education’s research arm, and the one that does meet those standards finds the program has no major effects on college enrollment or completion. The other studies do find some effects, but the paper says that research is “suggestive rather than definitive.”
In light of that pattern, the paper’s authors—Ron Haskins, co-director of the Center on Children and Families …
May 1, 2013, 3:26 pm
In an article this week, I describe the culture of College Confidential, the Web site many people love and/or hate. So far I’ve received several e-mails from readers who complained that my story was too negative (one anonymous soul informed me that my alma mater is a “joke”). Other readers suggested that the story wasn’t harsh enough.
Yet the most interesting response came from David Hawsey, a longtime admissions professional who helped create College Confidential in 2001. “It was founded for a different reason than people may think,” he wrote.
Mr. Hawsey, now vice president for enrollment management at Emory & Henry College, in Virginia, described his motivations for starting the free Web site: to educate the public about how colleges recruit and select applicants, and determine financial-aid awards. Back then, as the site’s primary producer of content, including responses to…
May 1, 2013, 11:15 am
Disadvantaged students are more likely to search for colleges haphazardly, rather than in the systematic way a good counselor would encourage. And that makes them more susceptible to marketing from lower-tier colleges that may not be a good fit, academically or financially. That’s the takeaway of a new paper that will be presented on Wednesday at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association but is not yet available online.
The paper, “Easy Targets: Haphazard College Searching and the Reproduction of Inequalities in Higher Education,” is based on a two-year qualitative study at two suburban high schools in the Northeast. Its author, Megan M. Holland, expects to receive her doctorate in sociology from Harvard University this month.
Among the 89 students she interviewed, Ms. Holland identified two main approaches to the college search. Some students were…
April 29, 2013, 4:59 am
Dominican University of California has been misreporting admissions data since 2001, the institution’s president announced last week.
In an e-mail to the campus, the president, Mary B. Marcy, said the university’s annual tallies of first-year applications had included incomplete applications, resulting “in the appearance of the university being more selective in its admissions process than it is.” Dominican reported an acceptance rate of 53.7 percent for the incoming class in the fall of 2011, for instance; the actual acceptance rate was 72.6 percent.
A recent internal review revealed the discrepancies, according to Ms. Marcy’s e-mail. The university, she wrote, has since notified the U.S. Department of Education of the errors. “I assure you that we will correct the error and take the necessary steps to ensure accuracy regarding future data collection and reporting,” Ms. Marcy…
April 17, 2013, 3:15 pm
A strong network of alumni volunteers can be an asset to an admissions office. And working with alumni volunteers is one area in which admissions offices can collaborate with each other instead of competing, writes Katrina L. Heilmeier in a guest post today. Ms. Heilmeier, an admissions counselor at Bowling Green State University, was scheduled to on this topic at a session of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers’ annual meeting this week.
Alumni volunteers can be extremely valuable resources throughout the recruitment process. Their first-hand knowledge of history, traditions, and spirit give alumni a unique voice in speaking to students and families about the value of a degree from your institution. Alumni volunteers can assist recruitment throughout the entire admissions cycle by participating in college fairs, interviews, high-school visits,…
April 17, 2013, 3:11 pm
San Francisco — Adult students are an unrecognized minority group at traditional colleges. Not only are there fewer students who fall into that category, but the institutions have been set up to serve a different type of student. That’s the case two administrators at Mount Mercy University made here on Wednesday at a session of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers’ annual meeting.
The two officials—Colette Atkins, assistant dean of adult accelerated programs, and Jason Clapp, the registrar—described how they had worked together to meet the needs of older students who have job and family responsibilities on top of academic ones.
In the coming years, the adult-student population is projected to grow more quickly than the traditional-age one nationwide, Mr. Clapp said. “We need to be paying attention to that market.”
Mount Mercy started an…