April 15, 2013, 6:47 pm
San Francisco — As state support for higher education has plummeted, public colleges have had to look elsewhere for money. That shift has brought changes, both good and bad, said Bradley Barnes during a session here on Monday of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers’ annual meeting.
Many public colleges act more like private ones in their pursuit of and reliance on tuition revenue, said Mr. Barnes, senior associate director of undergraduate admissions at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. “You may not want to admit it,” he said, “but it’s happening.”
On the positive side, tuition can be a more reliable form of revenue than state support is, Mr. Barnes said. That can give colleges a little more stability.
But as public colleges seek more students who can pay more, and especially those from out of state who are charged a much higher…
April 12, 2013, 4:55 am
Admissions offices have fought for years against what they call the “summer melt,” in which a fraction of a college’s admitted students who have sent in deposits never show up to enroll. In some cases, students’ plans change because they have been admitted off the wait list at a top choice.
But melt can also mean something quite different, especially among lower-income students. Such students are more likely to melt, and studies conducted in several locations around the United States have shown that around 20 percent of low-income students who are admitted to and are set to attend a four-year college do not enroll anywhere.
Researchers at Harvard University tested two forms of outreach—text messages and near-peer mentors—that are meant to raise the enrollment of such students. The researchers’ findings are described in a new paper, “Summer Nudging: Can Personalized Text…
April 9, 2013, 4:32 pm
Enrollment management has become more challenging and more important in the wake of the recession and as colleges stand on the precipice of sweeping demographic change. That’s what Don Hossler and David H. Kalsbeek argue in an update to an essay on enrollment management they wrote five years ago.
The original essay traced the rise of strategic enrollment management, or SEM. Mr. Hossler, a professor of educational leadership and policy studies at Indiana University at Bloomington, and Mr. Kalsbeek, senior vice president for enrollment management and marketing at DePaul University, wrote about how enrollment managers use their expanding portfolios to balance their colleges’ competing priorities.
Today “the issues are becoming more complicated, not less,” Mr. Hossler says. Presidents don’t all have to be enrollment-management experts, he says, but they do need to make sure they have…
February 4, 2013, 4:55 am
As you may have heard, not everyone is convinced that college is a good investment. In his role as vice president for enrollment, W. Kent Barnds has to change some minds, at least about Illinois’s Augustana College, where he works.
Colleges have responded to widespread skepticism about their value in a number of ways. Some have cut their prices. Others have embraced transparency. One plans to show admitted students upfront what they’ll pay for all four years. Several explain to their students that they all get a price discount from donations to the institution.
Mr. Barnds took a different approach. He came up with a new publication that displays the facts he believes prospective students want to know but often cannot find—”the things other colleges don’t tell you.” “There is a desire on the part of families and students for some level of transparency,” Mr. Barnds says. Too often,…