Signs of colleges on the rise: What to watch

Diverse achievements, equity and focus on student success are key factors, experts say.

Students, faculty and communities want to be associated with colleges and universities that are thriving. Factors such as curricula, research activities, rankings, studies abroad, distinguished alumni lists, ethnic diversity programs, state-of-the-art facilities and return on investment can indicate an institution’s growth in academic status and influence, some experts say.

Others say colleges and universities that embrace a generational cohort that includes diverse millennials and Generation Z students – postmillennials born between 1997 and 2012 – are part of a high-profile trend among colleges on the cutting edge.

Experts in the higher education realm point to some distinct attributes of colleges that are rising, as opposed to schools that are holding steady or declining.

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