How has the current economy impacted admissions offices?
Here is my video response to the question.
College admissions offices have not been unaffected by the economic downturn. Budgets have been tighter, travel has been reduced, and marketing approaches have reassessed and sometimes revised. However, it has not had a major impact on the basic decision making process. Indeed, there have always been variations in how different schools have treated the admissions and the financial aid processes, and while the financial aid side of things has certainly been impacted by the recent economic difficulties, the fundamental admissions decision making approaches have not really changed. A few schools that were pursuing need blind admissions policies have had to pull back from that approach, given reductions in their financial aid budgets coupled with greater needs, but beyond that the economy has not fundamentally altered the admissions process, so much as it has impacted the individual operations of different schools.
In recruitment, the economic downturn has forced colleges and universities to do more with less. Admissions offices, like all higher education departments, are expected to keep budgets as trim as possible. However, with development officers struggling to replace endowment losses, colleges rely more heavily on enrollment for annual operational budgets. Some strategies that colleges have employed: tuition increases, reduce tuition discount rate, shifting to a financial “need aware” admission process, adjusting in-state and out-of-state enrollment targets, and using scholarships to improve student enrollment.
Some more than others, but surely much less than they’d like everyone to believe!
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The sources for school statistics and data is the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.
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