AACRAO Research Grant

With the goal of encouraging applied research on enrollment management issues and fostering the next generation of higher education leaders, the research grant program supports the pursuit of advanced degrees among AACRAO members and stimulates thought, discussion, and research on emerging topics in higher education enrollment management.

The AACRAO Research Advisory Board will select up to three students who will present their results at the AACRAO Annual Meeting, typically held in late March/early April, following the awarding of the stipend.

In addition, the Board will consider the highest-quality research for publication in SEM Quarterly, the AACRAO peer-reviewed journal.

Application Window: Dec 1, 2020 - Sept 3, 2021


The applicant selects the research topic with supervision by a faculty member at his or her institution. Applicants may drawn appropriate topics from a wide range of subjects of interest to the AACRAO community. Applicants are not restricted to the suggested topics listed below as long as their proposals address the stated purpose of the Graduate Research Grant Program.

Major research topic areas of interest include but are not limited to the following:
  • Enrollment management
  • Recruitment and marketing
  • Admissions
  • Transfer and articulation
  • International admissions
  • Diversity, equity and access
  • Administrative information technology
  • Student services
  • Financial aid
  • Enrollment Services
  • Retention
  • Student Success
  • Federal and state policy


The AACRAO Research Advisory Board will select up to three highly qualified applicants to the program. Each participant will receive a stipend of $2,000 for usage toward the completion of an advanced degree and the development of a draft academic research article. Payments will be divided into two installments, with the final payment awarded after the AACRAO Annual Meeting.* The stipend is intended to be used for items such as:
  • Data analysis expertise
  • Professional editor for drafts of thesis or dissertation
  • Data collection incentives for quantitative and qualitative work and/or survey platform expense
  • Travel to the conference
*The award also includes a waiver of the Annual Meeting registration fee


For consideration, applicants must be: 
  1. active AACRAO member; and
  2. enrolled at an accredited institution of higher learning for the academic year in a graduate program leading to a master’s or doctoral degree; or
  3. enrolled in a series of graduate certificates in enrollment management at an accredited institution of higher learning.
Proof of eligibility may be required.

Eligibility status must be maintained throughout the period of the award. Candidates in master’s and doctoral programs may be evaluated separately.
2020 - 2021 Schedule
The research program aims to initiate awards by the start of the fall 2020
  • Dec 1, 2020
    Application submission open
  • Sept 3, 2021
    Electronic submission of complete application is due
  • Oct 6, 2021
    Stipend awarded to recipient(s)
  • February 1, 2022
    Draft conference presentation due
  • May 7, 2022
    Draft SEMQ article due


Dr. Wendy Kilgore
Director, Research


The application consists of five principal parts:
  1. Applicant Information (name, contact information)
  2. Applicant Qualifications (work and/or academic experience related to proposed research)
  3. Research Proposal
  4. Identification of Use of Funds
  5. a Writing Sample.
Description of Proposed Research
The application includes a description (up to 500 words) of their research project. Include project objectives, research methods, and expected outcomes. Also indicate how this research could benefit the higher education community as well as contribute to your career goals.

Selection Criteria and Award Notification
Final selections of award winners will be made by the AACRAO Research Advisory Board based on an evaluation of the applicant’s personal statement and academic qualifications, career goals, and significant features of the proposed research concept and plan. Award winners will be notified each September. AACRAO requires first right of refusal for articles produced as part of the Graduate Research Award Program.


Conditions of Award
Following selection for an award, each recipient will be offered an award agreement that will include requirements for completing their research and submission of their draft SEM Quarterly (SEMQ) Article in a timely manner. Compliance with this and other conditions, rules, and regulations governing this program is expected.

Evaluation and Selection of Award Candidates
The Research Advisory Board will judge applications on a number of factors to include academic qualifications (academic accomplishments, and experience), career goals, and proposed research (quality of concept, approach, and potential value to the AACRAO community. The Board will also consider:
  • Quality and completeness of the application and the research proposal;
  • Relevance of the research;
  • Academic and work experience;
  • Writing sample.
complete applications must be submitted electronically by September 3, 2021.

Apply now

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Personal Information
Academic Background
Please indicate the degree or graduate certificate program in which you are currently enrolled.
Work Background
Please attach a relevant writing sample in PDF format here.