Highlights in Higher Ed: Legacy admissions and college closings

What do high school students want from colleges?

A group of counselors speaking at the annual meeting of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers offered insights into what California high school students expect and value when visiting schools. Not surprisingly, high school students and 18-year-olds, in particular, are fickle and unpredictable. But when it comes to college tours, they are generally more likely to remember their tour guide than the tour itself. They want customized information, not generic talks from college reps. And they want to know what it’s like to attend the school they are visiting, which they expect to hear about from their tour guides.

Source: Inside Higher Ed

Most colleges shutting their doors are for-profit schools

Over the last five years, approximately 500,000 students have been displaced by college closings, the vast majority of which occurred at for-profit institutions. Of the 1,230 colleges that closed during that period, 88% were for-profit schools. Although such colleges enroll only about 10% of students nationwide, they account for 85% of students who were displaced by closings. Most of the students from the shuttered campuses are over 25, and one in four are over 35. Many have families and children. Almost 70% are low income, and over half are racial minorities. About 22,000 of them were receiving GI Bill benefits. On average, about 20 colleges close each month.

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education

Pennsylvania to let public colleges determine their own tuition plans

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education board has decided to give the 14 public colleges it oversees the freedom to determine their own tuition plans, within reason. The plans, which will still need to receive the board’s approval, will be in effect for two years at a time. This will allow the schools to consider their students’ ability to pay and the effects of any “regional economic differences.” Louisiana recently adopted a similar program while Florida, North Dakota and Texas have also considered — and in some cases implemented — one.

Source: Education Dive

A closer look at the financial implications of legacy admissions

Do legacy admissions really boost the bottom lines of colleges and universities by opening the door to more generous alumni contributions? Maybe not. By some estimates, legacy applicants may realize benefits equivalent to having 160 points added to their SAT scores and their chances of being admitted may be up to four times greater than average. One of the main reasons colleges look at legacy students is because they think the students bring them increased alumni donations. But one study conducted from 1998 to 2008 showed that assumption not to be true. Other colleges use legacy status as a sort of tie-breaker when students are otherwise equal. One final reason, which may be the most important to admissions offices, is that legacy students are strong applicants that return year after year.

Source: The Atlantic

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