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Highlights from Higher Ed: Concerns about the NACAC Rule Change and More Women Join Full-time MBA Programs

Two more schools drop mandatory test requirements

Pace University and Converse College have announced that most applicants to their institutions will no longer be required to submit SAT or ACT test scores. An enrollment official from Converse said the new policy “will broaden access for those high-achieving students who have been underrepresented at colleges and universities” and that because the school takes “a personalized and holistic approach to our students’ education… it only makes sense that we apply that approach to our admissions process as well.” A statement from Pace said that its holistic review process will place the most emphasis on “academic achievement (including class rank, if provided), followed by the personal essay and letters of recommendation.” Pace, however, will continue to request standardized test scores from some students, including those who were homeschooled and those applying from outside the United States.

Source: Inside Higher Ed

Will recent NACAC rule change create new inequities for lower-income students?

The recent vote by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) to eliminate its rule that “colleges must not offer incentives exclusive to students applying or admitted under an early-decision application plan” is raising concerns that less-affluent students will be placed at a greater disadvantage in the admissions process. Even before NACAC made the rule change in response to Justice Department concerns that the old policy violated antitrust laws, critics of early admission policies voiced concerns that they unfairly benefited wealthier students who are “more likely to be savvy about the college-admissions process, more likely to have access to counselors who will tell them that acceptance rates are higher for early-decision applicants [and] more likely to be able to afford campus visits to help them settle upon an early-decision choice.” In light of the NACAC decision, some critics now believe that incentives — such as offering free on-campus parking to incoming freshman — will inspire wealthier students to surrender deposit fees in order to accept an admission offer elsewhere, thereby depriving lower-income students of a seat in the class.

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education 

Tuition revenue growth is expected to slow in 2020

Moody’s Investors Service is predicting that tuition revenue will increase modestly at public and private colleges in 2020, albeit at a slower rate than in 2019. Median net tuition revenue is expected to increase by 1% at public universities and 2.3% at private colleges next year, down from 1.5% and 2.8%, respectively. Part of the reason is relatively flat enrollment growth, which is attributed to factors including fewer international students and a strong economy that’s luring Americans into the workforce instead of college. The outlook is somewhat brighter for large, public schools “due to better brand recognition that allows them to draw nonresident students and offer a wider variety of programs.”

Source: Education Dive

Full-time MBA programs move closer to gender parity

Despite the overall decline in the number of applications to MBA programs in recent years, there is some good news to report: The number of women enrolled is on the upswing, both in the United States and internationally. Women now account for 39% of the full-time MBA student population in U.S. programs and 36% in non-U.S. schools. According to the Forté Foundation, which represents 54 “top” MBA programs in the United States, Europe and Canada, the overall share of women in the classroom has grown to 38.5% from 37.7% last year. Five years ago, the total was 36.2%.

Source: Poets & Quants

Liaison’s Robert Ruiz pens open letter to b-school deans on declining MBA admissions

One month ago, in an unusual move, business school deans from 50 different institutions publicly called for major reforms in immigration policies that they say restrict talent mobility and pose a major threat to the long-term competitiveness of the U.S. Check out this daring move in the original open letter at BusinessBecause.

BusinessCAS offered its support and simultaneously joined the ongoing conversation when Managing Director Robert Ruiz’s letter was published in the industry-leading Poets&Quants. Ruiz said, “While working alongside you for 30 years in admission and enrollment management, I’ve never witnessed a moment quite as fateful as the present crossroads we face — both for you as institutional leaders, and for us as the education technology providers who offer solutions to your most pressing challenges.” In addition to adding that he is “heartened to witness [their] nuanced understanding of the inextricable education-workplace connection,” Ruiz also made several suggestions to “guide our collective actions moving forward.” They include joining forces to leverage the power of networking, articulate the value of an MBA and rethink the status quo regarding school rankings and technology.

Source: Poets & Quants