Supporting higher ed students from admission through completion

By: | Issue: January, 2018
December 21, 2017

Admissions, enrollment, marketing, retention and financial aid administrators surveyed generally have a sunny outlook about the student population in 2018—with 62 percent anticipating an enrollment increase.

International student enrollment is in a less positive place, however, with only about one-quarter of the 92 respondents expecting an increase this year. Regarding the online student population, 47 percent believe 2018 will experience an increase, and many institutions are investing in technology to boost teaching and learning from a distance.

Both healthy and struggling enrollment institutions are focusing on services and supports to help students succeed. One respondent, at an institution where enrollment was down significantly in 2017, noted that new programs and increased services for at-risk students are now in place to help the situation.

Survey Insight: Enrollment decline risk

Nearly 3 in 4 presidents, chancellors and provosts surveyed separately by UB say enrollment declines have the greatest potential for causing institutional harm in 2018 and beyond.

Admissions and access-related services and supports—including those related to campus visits and financial literacy—will be getting the most attention at institutions in 2018. More than half of respondents are prioritizing each of these areas.

(In a separate UB survey of college presidents, chancellors and provosts, admissions services came out on top in terms of 2018 service priority areas.)

Special supports for adult, first-generation and international students are also a big focus at a significant number of institutions.

Survey Insight: Tech to enable online learning

In a separate UB survey of campus technology administrators, 42 percent say that in 2018 they are investing more in technology to enable flipped classrooms and distance learning. Two-thirds report their institutions are expanding online education program offerings.

However, “about the same priority” was the most popular answer for these areas, and nearly 1 in 10 are pulling back on adult and international supports.

Modest upticks in retention and completion are anticipated at many of the institutions that participated.

Graduation rates should increase modestly at 55 percent of respondents’ schools, and retention rates should increase at 43 percent of the institutions.

Sixty-two percent of respondents work at institutions with less than 5,000 students.