Highlights from Higher Ed: Data collection, MBA hiring and fewer FAFSA applications

RJ Nichol
Nov 13, 2020

Most admissions officers believe the pandemic will affect their ability to collect data

A recent survey of admissions officers at nearly 400 colleges and universities indicates that more than 50% “believe the COVID-19 pandemic will have a profound or substantial impact on the data they are able to get on potential new students.” The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) conducted the study. “NACAC notes that colleges typically look at data from testing companies and schools in recruiting. But because of the disruptions caused by COVID-19, that has become more challenging. Most of those who were polled in the survey said their colleges are meeting that head on with strategic enrollment management (SEM) plans, while 35% said they either don’t have them or don’t know whether they do.” Among those with SEMs, 70% described them as “critical” to their recruiting efforts. “According to the study’s authors, some of the ways colleges and universities are trying to offset any potential disruptions are by seeking new ways to reach potential applicants, looking more closely at data and collaborating with outside vendors.”

Source: University Business.

Most MBA programs expect only a minor hiring slump for class of 2020

A recent survey of nearly 100 business schools worldwide has revealed that most anticipate their 2020 graduates will be less successful at finding jobs than their 2019 graduates, yet few are predicting a large-scale drop off in hiring. “Sixty-four percent of schools say they expect a decrease of less than 20% in job conversion — that is, successful acquisition of jobs. Another 6% anticipate a decrease of 20% or more. However, 23% responded that they expect no change, while 5% said they expect MBAs to do slightly better on the job market than they did a year ago. And 1% said they expect MBAs to do much better — with an increase of 20% or more.” Regarding intern conversions for the class of 2020, 38% of schools said they have not seen a decrease; 35% said they have. Eighty percent of the business schools participating in the survey are based in the United States. The rest were European (16%) and Asian-Pacific (4%).

Source: Poets & Quants.

Decline in FAFSA applications may foreshadow future enrollment challenges

Evidence is emerging that a “disturbing trend in higher education” may now be underway: The number of high school seniors who have filed their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) paperwork so far this fall has dropped 16% compared with the same period last year. The decline has been attributed to the fact that many families and students “are facing housing insecurity, food insecurity, [and] lack of access to technological infrastructure that would help them get into the classroom… FAFSA completion is just kind of falling down the list of priorities for a lot of students and families.” So far, the drop-off has been more precipitous in less wealthy communities. “There was an 18.5% decrease in the number of FAFSA completions among high school seniors at Title 1-eligible schools, which are schools that qualify for additional aid from the federal government because at least 40% of students are from low-income families. The decrease was 14% among students at schools that are not eligible for Title 1 funds.”

Source: The Hechinger Report.

The majority of college graduates think the humanities are important; fewer than half of non-grads agree

Should the humanities be an important part of every American’s education? According to researchers, your answer to that question is likely influenced by your gender, political leanings and level of educational achievement. If you agree, you probably have a college degree. If not, you probably don’t. “While 68% of college graduates strongly agree that the humanities should be an important part of every American’s education, just 47% of people without a college degree do. Liberals (70%) are more likely than conservatives (48%) to strongly agree the humanities are important. Women (60%) are also more likely than men (52%) to see the humanities as being an important part of every American’s education… Eighty-one percent of respondents said they regularly use at least one humanities-related skill in the workplace, and 29% of respondents said they think their career advancement has been ‘at least partially impaired’ by a deficiency in at least one humanities-related skill.”

Source: Inside Higher Ed.

RJ Nichol

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