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					Financial Uncertainty and the
Admissions Class of Fall 2008


          Martin Van Der Werf
  Director, Chronicle Research Services
   The Chronicle of Higher Education
2008: A Puzzling Year


 2008 started out as a record breaking year for college applications



 78 percent of colleges reported an increase in applications



 46 percent of colleges surveyed by Chronicle Research Services said the yield
  of admitted students, or the percentage of accepted students who matriculated,
  decreased this year.


 75 percent said the yield drop was unexpected
Admissions Officer Survey

In the fall of 2008 Chronicle Research Services surveyed 323 admissions officers

 Response rate gave a 95 percent representative certainty of all colleges


 Survey was composed of 54 questions about yield, the economy, and aid


 46 percent of the respondents reported a yield decrease


 Two biggest reasons for the decrease: changes in the financial situations of the
  parents or students and more aggressive financial-aid offers from key
  competitors
Admissions Officer Survey

College admissions officers cited the following factors most often as having had
a negative influence on their yields:

 Changes in the financial situations of parents and/or students (76 percent)


 More aggressive financial-aid offers from key competitors (76 percent)


 More students attending community colleges (64 percent)


 Summer melt, or students who put down deposits but did not matriculate (60
  percent)

 Decline in the value of homes (58 percent)


 Availability of student loans (50 percent)
Current Admissions Dilemma


     The Economy and the Housing Crisis

               Summer Melt

 More Students Attending Community Colleges

        Availability of Student Loans
Economy and Housing Crisis

Survey respondents noted three closely related phenomena that had an
unfavorable impact on yield:

                                                      Negative
                                                      Impact /
                                                       Major
                                                      Negative
     Changes in the financial situations of              47%
     parents and/or students
     Decline in the value of homes                       42%
     Home foreclosures                                   28%
Economy and Housing Crisis

 At the end of the third quarter of 2008, U.S. home prices had dropped 16.6
  percent from a year earlier, according to the authoritative Case-Shiller index




 Meanwhile College Tuition Continues to Increase
  More Than Healthcare, Inflation, and Housing
Summer Melt


 43 percent of the survey respondents cited “summer melt” as having a negative
  impact on their yield

 The admissions director of a moderate-sized private university in the West
  said, “We lost over 100 deposits over the summer. That’s the highest ever at
  our place.

 At a small private college in the Midwest, “We experienced a 48 percent
  increase in summer melt,” reported the admissions director.
Community Colleges


 44 percent of the survey participants said that students’ opting to attend
  community colleges negatively affected their colleges’ institutions’ yields

 “After reviewing our win/loss data, five community colleges made our top 25.
  That has never happened before,” said the admissions director at a small urban
  private college in the Northeast.

 Another admissions director – this one from a small private college in New
  England – said, “Many reported that they would like to attend our institution
  in a year or so, but needed to save money right now.”
Student Loans

 40 percent of all admission officers surveyed identified the unavailability of
  student loans as a negative factor in determining the yield

 In mid-October, NAICU released the results of a survey that revealed that
  students at private colleges were finding it significantly harder to secure
  private loans. More alarmingly, nearly half of colleges say some students have
  been forced to take time off or go part-time as a result.

 Nearly half of the institutions surveyed reported between 11 and 50 students
  who could not secure a private loan this academic year, and 11% had more
  than 50 such students
              How We Got Here


More Aggressive Financial Aid Offers From Key Competitors

                  International Students

                Need Based Financial Aid

            Incentives and Increased Merit Aid

             No Fees for Online Applications
Aggressive Financial Aid


 Cited by three out of five survey participants as leading cause for the negative
  impact on yield was more aggressive financial-aid offers from key
  competitors.

 This, of course, was mostly a factor for private colleges and universities, since
  public institutions don’t compete as aggressively in financial aid.

 Among private colleges, it is a major headache: 67% of large private research
  universities, 66% of small private colleges, and 63% of moderate-size private
  institutions said financial-aid offers from competitors decreased their yield.
International Students


 Close to 40 percent of college admissions officials said that enrollment of
  international students had a positive impact on yield for the undergraduate
  class entering in 2008.


 Foreign-student enrollment in the United States reached a new record level in
  2007-8.


 But the growth in international students is uneven, and it may not last. Other
  nations, particularly Canada and Britain, are competing aggressively for
  international students.
Need-Based Financial Aid


 Close to one-half of the admissions professionals indicated in the survey that
  greater need-based financial aid provided by their institutions had a positive
  impact on yields.

 While the private institutions struggle to maintain their policies, many public
  institutions have also become more selective. In fact, four of 10 state-
  supported institutions offer some merit aid despite the reduction of state
  subsidies at many of them.
Incentives and Merit Aid


 One-fourth of the survey participants indicated that incentives provided to
  sought-after students had a positive impact on this year’s yield.

 Forty percent cited an increase in the granting of merit-based scholarships as
  having a positive impact.

 Small liberal-arts colleges and moderate-size public universities were the most
  likely to have reported a positive impact from increased merit scholarships, 44
  percent and 42 percent, respectively.
Online Application Fees


 One-fourth of the survey participants cited the absence of fees for online
  applications as having a positive impact on their yields.

 One of six said that the use of one such electronic application, the Common
  Application, was having a positive impact on yield at their institutions.

 Because electronic applications are easier and less expensive to process, some
  colleges waive their application fees for those who apply online.
Looking Forward


 The Challenge Ahead
       Public Institutions
       Private Institutions



 Trends in Financial Counseling and New Financial Strategies



 New Strategies for Student Loans
                     The College of 2020

Chronicle Research Services is currently working on a series of reports
about what college will look like in the year 2020. The reports will be on
these topics:

                             Student Enrollment


                                Technology


                            Facilities and Faculty
The College of 2020: Student Enrollment

 Convenience is the future.


 More students will be attending classes on line, studying part-time, taking
  classes from multiple universities, and jumping in and out of colleges.

 Students will demand more options for taking classes, to make it easier for
  them to do what they want, when they want to do it.

 Most colleges – the only possible exceptions will be the elite institutions with
  mostly residential students – will be forced to respond if they want to remain
  competitive.
The College of 2020: Student Enrollment

 NEW Chronicle Research Services Admissions Panel Survey


 Of the 119 institutions that responded to a survey, two-thirds said that
  currently, almost all of their students are full-time and age 18-25.

 By 2020, only about half the institutions believe they will be primarily made
  up of traditional-age full-time students.

 By 2020, almost a third of respondents said they believe that students will take
  up to 60 percent of their classes online only. Now, almost no students at those
  colleges are online only.
Contact
For more information on Chronicle Research Services, custom research, or this
report please contact:



                 Martin Van Der Werf
                 Director, Chronicle Research Services
                 202.466.1082
                 martin.vanderwerf@chronicle.com

				
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