Highlights in Higher Ed: Admissions Selectivity and Graduation Rates

Legacy status and athletics edge out race in admissions public poll

When the American public was polled by Pew Research Center, almost 75% opposed the consideration of race in admissions. Just 7% thought race should be a major factor, and only 8% think legacy status or athletic ability should be a major factor. The 75% who oppose it come from all ethnic backgrounds, though when looking at political affiliations, Republicans were more negative than Democrats. Perhaps this is a good conversation point to begin with when explaining the holistic review process that considers race to the American public.

Source: Inside Higher Ed

Selectivity in admissions may cause college to close

The discussion about how selective colleges should be in their admissions has been around as long as college admissions. But with colleges like Hampshire, it is becoming a matter of staying open or closing. Hampshire depends on tuition, more than other colleges — 90% of the operational budget is from tuition and fees. With increases in competition for its unique learning style and a decrease in enrollment, it is in serious trouble. The first round of layoffs has occurred as the college seeks a partner to help it come through the next few years. Is the exclusivity worth it?

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education

Graduation rates increase when students are supported on all fronts

In 2017, a national study reported that almost 2/3 of community college students worry about where their next meal is coming from. Add to that the 14% who are homeless and the 50% who are housing insecure, and it is no wonder college graduation rates are down. But when Amarillo College opened a legal aid clinic and a childcare center and added resources to the food pantry, they saw a graduation rate increase from 13% to 22% in six years. The investment has been returned to the rate of 16 times, according to the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives.

Source: EdSurge

Veteran groups react to GI Bill audit

In February, 36 groups that advocate for veterans and their families asked the Department of Veterans Affairs to dive into the way for-profit colleges are soliciting students for their GI Bill funds. Organizations including the American Legion, Blue Star Families and AMVETS are upset over the recent audit that estimated a $2.3 billion waste of GI Bill money. Only 10% of those veterans using their GI bill benefits attend a college with high graduation rates, despite the fact that this group of students graduate at a higher rate. The report also recommends that colleges looking to increase their veteran and military family population simplify the transfer credit process — to include awarding credit for military training.

Source: Education Dive