Category Archives: Student Recruitment


How ‘Undermatching’ Shapes Students’ College Experience

“Undermatching,” the phenomenon in which students enroll at less-selective colleges than their academic qualifications suggest they could have attended, is a hot topic in higher-education research. Among the topics studies have examined so far: how common undermatching is, its effect on graduation rates, and a low-cost way to change where high-achieving, low-income students apply to and enroll in college.

A paper scheduled to be presented on Friday at the American Educational Research Associatio…


How One University Is Increasing Its International Enrollment

Denver — International students have long come to North Carolina State University for its graduate programs, where they account for about a third of the enrollment. At the undergraduate level, however, they have historically made up less than 1 percent of the student body.

The university has been working to change that pattern. During a session here on Wednesday at the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers’ annual meeting, two admissions officials shared what N.C….


The Power of Partnerships in International Admissions

Mary Baxton Photo (1) The American higher-education system is decentralized, but American colleges that want to expand their enrollments of international students don’t have to go it alone. In a guest post, Mary Baxton, an international education consultant, and Eddie West, director of international initiatives at the National Association for College Admission Counseling, describe different groups that colleges can work with. Ms. Baxton and Mr. West, who used to work together at California State University at Northr…


How a University Overcomes the Challenges of Holistic Admissions

Denver — Fit is a big deal at Brigham Young University, where the admissions office looks for students who share its values academically, socially, and spiritually. To select those students, the university uses a holistic process that three campus officials described here on Monday during a session at the American Association for Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers’ annual meeting.

Each applicant’s file—stripped of its grades and test scores—is evaluated by more than one reader. Re…


Grades Still Matter Most in Admissions

A majority of colleges attribute little or no importance to students’ race and ethnicity or first-generation status when reviewing applications, according to survey findings released on Thursday by the National Association for College Admission Counseling.

The findings, which appear in the group’s “State of College Admission 2013″ report, shed light on how various student characteristics influenced evaluations of grades, strength of curriculum, and standardized-test scores—the most important f…


Want to Define Merit? Good Luck

Los Angeles — All day long they wrestled with the meaning of merit.

On Thursday enrollment officials here discussed the term around which the admissions world revolves. How colleges assess and reward merit shapes the socioeconomic and racial diversity of students at selective colleges. But what, exactly, is merit? Should colleges redefine it? If so, how?

At a conference held by the University of Southern California’s Center for Enrollment Research, Policy, and Practice, many speakers agreed that…


Common App’s Board Begins Review of Organization and Technology

The Common Application’s Board of Directors has hired a consulting firm to conduct a “complete and expeditious review” of the organization’s structure and technology, according to emails the board recently sent to members.

As Nancy Griesemer, an independent college counselor and blogger, first reported on Monday, the board held an “off-cycle” meeting in December to discuss the technical problems that have dogged the revamped online application since last summer.

In a December 26 email to college…


At-Risk Young Adults With Mentors Go to College at Higher Rates

At-risk young people who had a mentor aspired to attend college and enrolled at higher rates than did their peers without mentors. That’s according to a survey commissioned by the National Mentoring Partnership that was scheduled for release on Monday.

About three-quarters of at-risk young adults (ages 18 to 21) with a mentor reported that they had always planned to go to and graduate from college, compared with 56 percent of those who didn’t have a mentor.

Forty-five percent of at-risk young ad…


How to Avoid a Silent Spring

ScottSIn a guest post today, Scott Andrew Schulz shares some thoughts about the challenges facing admissions officers. Mr. Schulz is dean of enrollment at Saint Martin’s University, in Lacey, Wash.

It haunts our dreams. It makes the calmest of people hyperventilate. Seeing it in your calendar causes more anxiety than any dentist appointment might.

What is it? May 1, the judgment date for many enrollment managers, the day by which accepted applicants must send in their deposits. After May 1, colleges k…


Should Your College Join the Common Application?

In an article published on Monday, I describe the rise of the Common Application, which has become a powerful force in college admissions, with more than 500 member colleges.

In the past, the nonprofit organization that runs the application recruited new members each fall. This involved friendly telephone calls to colleges that conducted holistic evaluations of applicants, by considering more than just grades and test scores, says Scott Anderson, senior director for policy at the organization,…