SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS DOES INFLUENCE COLLEGE CHOICE

New research by sociologist Alexandria Walton Radford has found that, while 79% of “well-off” high school valedictorians apply to at least one highly selective college, only half of middle- and low-income valedictorians do. The difference:  students apply to schools they know about, and wealthier students are more likely to know someone who knows something about (or has attended) a highly selective college.

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EARLY INTERVENTION INCREASES COLLEGE ENROLLMENT

A new study by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) has confirmed what most us already knew: that providing college counseling to high school students in the freshmen year could significantly improve the number of students who go on to attend college. This was especially true among students whose parents didn’t attend college. Now the question becomes how to act on this information. Continue Reading »

DECLINES IN ENROLLMENT REFLECT STRONGER ECONOMY

Fewer people sought to enroll at colleges and universities this spring when compared to the spring of 2012, according to a new report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center that was released last week. That’s bad news for institutions of higher education, but it’s also a sign that our economy is improving and providing more opportunity in the workforce.

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FINANCIAL AID LITERACY STILL LACKING AMONG STUDENTS

A new report by America’s Promise Alliance reveals that, in spite of the abundance of financial aid resources, many high school students still don’t consider how they will pay for college until after they are accepted. This may be due in part to a lack of simplified financial aid information available to students and parents as well as a lack of transparency into how the financial aid process works. Continue Reading »

THE GLOBAL REACH OF SOCIAL NETWORKS

Would it surprise you to know that more than half of all Internet users worldwide use Facebook, making it the most-used social network around the world? As you assess your school’s social media strategy, it’s also worth noting that Google+, YouTube and Twitter are a distant second, third and fourth in terms of usage. However, Twitter has the distinction of being the fastest-growing social network. Continue Reading »

THE HOPELESSNESS OF THE WAIT LIST

Wait lists at some colleges have become the place to put those applicants colleges don’t want to admit, but don’t want to deny either. That practice is giving students false hope, says Jenna Johnson in the Washington Post. Continue Reading »

CALIFORNIA DIGS DEEPER FOR DIVERSITY

California voters abolished affirmative action in 1996. Initially, the number of blacks and Latinos enrolled in the state’s universities fell. However, by last fall, the percentage of black students enrolling at state universities had returned to affirmative action levels, and the percentage of Latinos actually surpassed the previous levels. So how did they do it?

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ACT EMBRACES iPADS & PCs, MAKES PLANS TO GO DIGITAL

In a case of déjà vu all over again, ACT is going digital with its college admissions exam. The plan is to have the new version of the test in place by 2015, according to an announcement made last week. Veteran admission officers will recall that the College Board started down a similar path in the mid-‘90s but abandoned the project due to concerns about security and access.

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HAS DISCOUNTING RUN ITS COURSE?

What does it mean when discount rates continue to rise but enrollments begin to decline? For a number of small private colleges, that’s exactly what’s happening and questions are being raised about whether discounting is still a viable strategy for shaping the size and profile of an incoming class.

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ARE THE RIGHT STUDENTS BEING COURTED BY RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES?

A new study has revealed an interesting fact: As public research universities admit more out-of-state students to generate additional revenue through higher tuition rates, the number of minority students they are admitting has dropped off. Is this simply a case of conflicting priorities, or are these institutions making a conscious choice to sacrifice diversity in order to offset declines in state appropriations?

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ADDRESSING THE GAP IN CAMPUS TOURS

Last week, Lab Notes featured an article that focused on indecision about college choice and the fact that families are taking more time to reach a final decision on that “best fit” college. This article by James Lang, an English professor at Assumption College, reinforces that trend but also provides great insight into how this “indecision” can be addressed through improvements in our campus tours.

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YES VIRGINIA, THERE IS STILL SPACE AVAILABLE

Well it’s that time of year again. While May 1st may have come and gone, those intrepid researchers at NACAC are still on the case, exposing enrollment opportunities across the country. The association recently made available its annual Space Availability Survey:  Openings for Qualified Students. This year, the survey says that 205 institutions are still accepting applications for a spot in this year’s freshman class.

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