Highlights from Higher Ed: Spend and New Names

States increase spending on higher ed in 2018

The annual Grapevine Survey reported a 4% increase in state spending on higher education in 2018. Colorado had the largest gain and joined 24 other states in spending more in 2018 than in 2017. The increase is most likely attributed to strong state economic growth, which is predicted to continue in 2019. The increase was not evenly distributed however, as 30% of the national increase was made up in California alone and eight states made up 70% of the increase.

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education

Admissions and antitrust laws

Earlier this month a federal judge ruled that antitrust laws do not broadly apply to the college admissions process. A few years ago, the Sherman Act was applied when colleges were sharing information on financial policies, financial aid and students’ financial status. But the AAMC’s Multiple Acceptance Report — which has since been discontinued — was not in violation of antitrust laws. The bottom line: Colleges can share admissions decisions but not financial policies.

Source: Inside Higher Ed

What’s in a name? Plenty.

With brand awareness becoming a hot topic in college admissions and the need for most institutions to draw from beyond their local region, some colleges are looking to change their name. Sometimes a name change is reflective of changing from a college to a university, such as Virginia’s Mary Washington College that changed to the University of Mary Washington in 2004. The University of Southern Maine is rumored to be considering a name change as well, specifically to draw more students based on their geographic location. Students were polled and the results suggested that Portland was a draw for students, and potentially adding that to the name would attract more applicants. Changing the name and rebranding could cost $750,000.

Source: Education Dive

Human error in admissions still a problem

When “human error” was blamed in a recent admissions gaffe, University of South Florida St. Petersburg admissions office had quite a bit of cleaning up to do. Over 400 students received acceptance emails, followed quickly by another email stating it was a mistake. All of the 680 students under review for admissions were sent acceptance emails while only 250 of them were supposed to be admitted. The university has rolling admissions, so some of these students may see true admissions emails in the future.

Source: The Washington Post

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