December 2018 - Your Higher Ed Update

December 19, 2018
  • Admissions
  • Cost of Attendance
  • developmental education
  • graduate admissions


Redesigned AACRAO Research Page 

We are pleased to introduce the newly redesigned AACRAO research page.  We have reorganized the research reports by subject areas and added the search functionality back in. You can now search the content of the AACRAO research reports from the main search on the AACRAO homepage or directly from the report pages.  I hope you find this restructuring to be helpful to you.

15% Admissions Yield Rate Nationally at Non-Open Enrollment Institutions

I must say that my eyebrows raised when I read in the new NCES report that the overall admissions yield rate at non-open admissions, Title IV institutions was 15% for fall 2017.  These institutions collectively received 10,700,000 applications; about 6,000,000 were admissible, and of those, 1,700,000 students enrolled at one of these institutions for fall 2017.  I started to ponder the scale of collective resources needed at these 2,013 institutions to process this many applications just to yield 15%. I also began to wonder what other business has a yield of just 1.5 new ‘paying customers’ per 10 prospects and still manages to provide life-transforming knowledge as well as comprehensive customer service resources (like our post secondary institutions do for the students who do enroll).  It’s mind boggling!  On that note, I would like to wish all of the hard-working folks in higher education a happy holiday season!

AACRAO Research Update

We are plugging away at the data from the marketing to high school seniors survey and the AICE/AACRAO partner survey on credential evaluation standards.  The January 60-Second survey will be an update to the registrar’s staffing survey from 2015.  

Current Higher Education Research and Related Topics

Graduation rates, financial aid, admissions and outcomes

This NCES report examines the provisional data from the IPEDS winter 2017-2018 data collection.  The findings included:

  • About 60% of first-time, full-time students at four-year institutions graduated within six years.
  • Average cost and net price of attendance varied by institutional sector.
  • Public nonprofit four-year: $19,8000 and $12,600
  • Private nonprofit four-year: $40,600 and $22,800
  • Private for-profit four-year: $27,900 and $21,700

Aligning Community Colleges with K-12

A new paper from the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) details three action areas for community colleges to partner with K-12 to improve student outcomes.  The paper provides proven examples from community college practice for accelerating academic transitions, extending navigational support, and establishing community colleges as career bridges.

Graduate Admissions Processes: Predicting Success

The Council of Graduate Schools examined three questions related to graduate admissions to provide a national level perspective on practice and to provide recommendations for such.  The authors addressed the following questions:

  • “What is success in a master’s program?
  • What attributes are currently used in admissions decisions to predict success?
  • What evidence is currently used to evaluate the attributes?”

Not surprisingly, the authors found that the potential to successfully complete coursework is a very important consideration during admission.  Critical thinking and analytical thinking are also very important, and letters of recommendation are use to assess cognitive and non-cognitive attributes of the applicants.

WICHE Annual Update on Access, Success, and Finance in Higher Education

This slide deck provides figures that track changes in higher education in the West from 2006 through today.  

Automatic Admissions Policies Can Reduce Income-Based Inequalities

A new Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis journal article reports on a study that examined the impact of the Texas Top 10% Plan automatic admissions policy on college selection behavior of low-income, high achieving students.   The authors found that automatic admissions policies that clearly state the threshold for admission can influence low-income, high-achieving students to apply for colleges outside the norm.  However, in this sample population, the effect occurred only when the student also had a high SAT.  

50-State Comparison: Developmental Education Policies

The Education Commission of the States released its comparison of state-level and post secondary system policies on developmental education assessment and placement.The authors shared the following key take-aways:

  • Thirty-one states have a state or system wide assessment and placement policy.
  • Twenty-one states have a uniform state or system wide cut score policy.
  • Nineteen states or systems allow for the use of multiple measures in placement decisions.
  • Twenty states or systems have authorized the use of innovative developmental education instructional methods and interventions.
  • Twenty states have created statutory developmental education reporting requirements.

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