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Highlights from Higher Ed: Testing, Dropping Out and Leaving a Legacy

RJ Nichol
Oct 20, 2017

1. Testing issues create barriers for international students

International students, including U.S. citizens living overseas, are running into a unique barrier as this year’s application deadlines loom. Limited testing dates and sudden test cancellations have admissions counselors seeking alternative solutions for these students.

2. But what does “acceptance rates” really mean?

As institutions have a habit of releasing the percentages of students accepted instead of the raw numbers, some families are feeling that applying to multiple top-tier colleges may not be worth it. The Washington Post suggests an increase in transparency throughout the process will help.

3. College dropouts reach an alarming rate

Bill Gates is one of many who are concerned about college dropout rates: “The U.S. has the highest college dropout rate,” he told students during a recent visit to Georgia State University, an urban university serving low-income and minority students. “We’re number one in terms of the number of people who start college but we’re like number 20 in terms of the number of people who finish college.” Gates donates millions towards domestic education initiatives to help address this issue each year.

4. The economic effect of legacy admissions

William Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, cautions institutions against putting too much emphasis on legacy admissions. Colleges have bills to pay and alumni donations are important, but diversification of the student body and the economic status of the country as a whole must be a priority as well.

Recommended Reading

Contagious: Why Things Catch On
Marketing professor Jonah Berger has studied what makes “things go viral” and how social influencing is making its mark on everything bought today. The specific techniques in this book show how to make information spread, from message design to advertisements to content creation. Admissions officers and higher education institutions can leverage this insight to spread the word about their programs to today’s prospective students.

RJ Nichol

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