Lab Notes is a blog designed for enrollment management professionals that focuses on current issues, events, and perspectives that impact their work. Receive the latest news direct to your inbox each week by subscribing to the Lab Notes E-Newsletter.

BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD IN TEXAS

June 25th, 2013 by Categories: Lab Notes

Can a non-decision be considered a victory or a defeat? That question is on the minds of many admission officers in the wake of the Supreme Court’s “ruling” on Affirmative Action in college admission. Some feel the court’s decision affirmed the use of race as a legitimate factor in the evaluation of students while others thought it further reduced the professional judgment that admission officers are able to exert. Continue Reading »

FROM “MAY NOT” TO “SHOULD NOT”

June 25th, 2013 by Categories: Lab Notes

What’s in a word? Well, quite a bit if you’re former president Bill Clinton whose defense in his perjury trial hinged on what the meaning of “is” is. Fast forward to May 2013. That’s when the NACAC released a report—almost two years in the making—on paying foreign recruiters. The essence of the report was an update to the previous policy on foreign recruitment which indicated that member institutions “may not” pay commissions to international student recruiters. Here’s the update: member institutions “should not” pay those commissions. Thanks for clearing that up! Continue Reading »

COMBATING MERITOCRACY THROUGH AFFIRMATIVE ACTION

June 25th, 2013 by Categories: Lab Notes

Before weighing in on the affirmative action ruling by the Supreme Court,  you might want to consider this op-ed piece from the Los Angeles Times. The article, penned by an assistant professor at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, reminds us of how admissions criteria have evolved — from the inclusion of “manliness” in the 1920s to an emphasis on “hardships overcome” today—as a way of combating the notion of “meritocracy.” Continue Reading »

A SHIFT TO CLASS-BASED AFFIRMATIVE ACTION

June 25th, 2013 by Categories: Lab Notes

Is there a better way to diversify college campuses? Some people seem to think so. While we evaluate Supreme Court’s decision/non-decision on the UT Austin affirmative action case, it might be wise to consider another way to achieve diversity: by emphasizing income over race. Continue Reading »

THE DARK SIDE OF DUEL ENROLLMENT

June 25th, 2013 by Categories: Lab Notes

The concept of dual enrollment has become popular among students and their parents as a way to get a significant head start on college. But not all dual enrollment programs are created equal.  In Texas a dual enrollment program that allows high school teachers to teach college-level classes to Texas high school students for college credit is creating some unintended consequences. Continue Reading »

ARE YOU A SOCIAL MEDIA SNOOPER?

June 25th, 2013 by Categories: Lab Notes

Would it surprise you to know that a quarter of all admission officers are checking student Facebook profiles? That’s what a recent Kaplan survey uncovered. So what are the implications for college-bound students? Can social media be a “two-way street”—used by admission offices to evaluate students at a deeper level while also providing students with another way to enhance their student profile? Continue Reading »

EDUCATING LATINO PARENTS IS KEY TO LATINO STUDENT SUCCESS

June 5th, 2013 by Categories: Lab Notes

While Latino high school graduates are beginning to catch up to (and in some cases surpass) their white peers in terms of enrolling in college, they are still far behind where they need to be. That’s because their issues begin much earlier and, in many cases, prevent them from ever getting to the point of high school graduation.

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ARE “HAVE NOTS” IGNORED BY ELITE INSTITUTIONS?

June 5th, 2013 by Categories: Lab Notes

In anticipation of the Supreme Court’s decision on the University of Texas at Austin’s admissions policies, many opponents of race-based admissions are calling for colleges to focus on enrolling more low-income students as an alternative to affirmative action. But do the nation’s best colleges—public or private—really want to enroll larger numbers of socioeconomically disadvantage students? The research says ‘no.’

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YOUR WEBSITE MAY BE COSTING YOU APPLICANTS

June 5th, 2013 by Categories: Lab Notes

Is your website easy to interpret and intuitive to navigate? Is it clearly and concisely worded? Is it thought-provoking and relevant? If your website isn’t all three of these things, potential students may leave without ever submitting an inquiry form, or completing an application.

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CAUTION: HAZARDOUS SUMMER AHEAD

June 5th, 2013 by Categories: Lab Notes

The summer between high school and college can be a perilous time for college-bound students, but also provides an opportunity for learning.  Many of these students will increase their alcohol use. Others will struggle with misconceptions about what college life has in store for them. And for some, the realization of what college will really cost finally begin to sink in. Proactive colleges are now putting programs and strategies in place to address these issues and many others that can impact the transition to life on campus.

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SURPRISE! GRADUATING WITH DEBT IS A REALITY

June 5th, 2013 by Categories: Lab Notes

Fidelity recently released a “Cost Conscious College Graduates Study” that examined how the cost of college and the resulting debt load impact college choice and future financial decisions. The essence of the report is summarized in this quote from Keith Bernhardt, Fidelity’s Vice President of College Planning: “The number of graduates reporting surprise by the level of student debt they have accumulated is a big concern and shows that there is a considerable need for families to better understand the total cost of college.”

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“STRUCTURED INTERVENTIONS” GENERATE DOLLARS, REDUCE ATTRITION

May 30th, 2013 by Categories: Lab Notes

If you could invest less than $200,000 in a set of students and end up with a return on that investment of more than $660,000 in tuition payments, while also solving a nagging attrition problem would you do it? That’s exactly what happened at Georgia State University based on some serious data mining and a willingness to invest in students who were “most likely to succeed.”

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THE REALITY OF COMPETITIVE COLLEGE ADMISSION

May 30th, 2013 by Categories: Lab Notes

Much to the surprise of many parents—and guidance counselors—admission to the nation’s most competitive colleges requires more than straight A’s, perfect ACT scores, a boatload of extracurriculars, and a commitment to community service to get in. That’s the story of Tanner McArdle, the “complete package” who didn’t get into Stanford, his dream school.

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COST TRANSPARENCY VIA A NET PRICE GUARANTEE

May 30th, 2013 by Categories: Lab Notes

The University of Dayton was seeking a way to make the cost of college more transparent to students and families. The goal was to give families a clear picture of the costs they would bear so that they would be better prepared to bear them. The result is a guarantee:  that students in this year’s incoming class will pay the same amount in each of their four years  at Dayton.

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COLLEGE SEARCH, PART DEUX: THE ROOMMATE

May 30th, 2013 by Categories: Lab Notes

By now, most students have made their final decisions about where they will be attending college come Fall. While parents will continue to navigate the many financial decisions yet to be made, many students still face one major decision related to enrollment:  choosing a roommate.

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SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS DOES INFLUENCE COLLEGE CHOICE

May 30th, 2013 by Categories: Lab Notes

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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