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Highlights from Higher Ed: Enrollment Opportunities, Admissions Marketing and the College Degree Advantage

COVID-19 reinforces the value of a business education — and highlights enrollment opportunities for programs

“COVID-19 has created unprecedented disruption, yet the crisis has energized our MBA students to think strategically about the issues of the day and solve problems cooperatively,” according to Dee Steinle, executive director of MBA and MSB Programs at the University of Kansas School of Business and a member of Liaison’s BusinessCAS™ Advisory Board. “The world is changing, and those who want to evolve with the times are just as well served by a business degree today as they were before the pandemic,” she wrote. “At the same time, there are a number of unique challenges facing MBA programs nationwide,” including declining enrollment among international as well as domestic students. “In that regard, we are encouraged and reassured to be working with BusinessCAS, a cloud-based tool that drives our applicant volume; our business school’s class size increased by 44% from 2018 to 2019 after we joined the platform. By improving an academic institution’s financial health, strong enrollment leads to increased funding for student support services, state-of-the-art facilities and all the other benefits that elevate students’ experience. Higher enrollment and exposure to a broader applicant pool also increases a business program’s chances of building a more diverse incoming class, enabling students to grow in the context of a diverse community that prepares them to enter a global economy and helps them forge a well-rounded professional network.”

To learn more about how BusinessCAS helps institutions achieve their most important recruiting and enrollment goals, visit

Source: AACSB

Admissions marketing spending increases as schools seek to boost online program enrollment

For-profit and online-only universities “appear to have deliberately ramped up marketing to capitalize on the uncertainty and limitations of traditional on-campus learning during shutdowns,” according to the authors of a study looking at the Facebook advertising of more than 400 U.S. higher ed institutions between mid-March and mid-May. “Higher ed Facebook advertising increased 7% during the pandemic compared to the same 10-week period one year ago, with institutions collectively spending a total of just under $55 million. Private online universities had the largest increases in spending. The average Facebook ads spend was $131,402 per institution, or about $54,000 per month… Public institutions — while representing just 25% of the top 100 institution advertisers and comprising just 17% of ad spending among that group — weren’t the biggest spenders. But they did still increase ad spending at the same rate (about 21%) as private institutions.” Overall, more than 60% of the ads reviewed in the study touted the benefits of online degree programs. Among all ads, the top messaging themes were career advancement, convenience and affordability.

Source: University Business

Is it “fantasy” to expect students to “play it safe” on campus in the fall?

A Temple University psychology professor writing in The New York Times believes that colleges’ plans to implement safety procedures to limit the spread of coronavirus on campuses this fall are “so unrealistically optimistic that they border on delusional and could lead to outbreaks of COVID-19 among students, faculty and staff.” Her opinion is based on four decades of experience teaching and studying young people. “[I]t’s hard to think of an age during which risky behavior is more common and harder to deter than between 18 and 24, and people in this age make up about three-fourths of full-time American undergraduates… “[T]here is no shortage of rewarding temptations, emotional arousal or unsupervised peer groups on the typical college campus. It’s one of those perfect storms — people who are inclined to take risks in a setting that provides ample temptation to do so.” The author concluded by writing, “As someone who is well-versed in this literature, I will ask to teach remotely for the time being.”

Source: The New York Times

Workers with college degrees are less likely to be unemployed during the pandemic, may be less likely to get sick

A study based on June’s national unemployment data has revealed that the jobless rate for college-educated workers was 7.4%, while the rate for those with only a high school diploma was more than twice as high (15.3%). “Fewer than half of high school graduates are now working,” the report noted. “Two-thirds of college graduates are.” It also noted that 51% of those with only diplomas had lost work income during the pandemic, compared with 39% of degree holders. The degree advantage may also extend to physical health, since only 20% of high school graduates can limit their exposure to COVID-19 by working at home, compared with 63% of college grads.

Source: Forbes