Blog

Highlights from Higher Ed: High-Volume Applicants, Sector-Wide Financial Woes, Campus Facilities, and Unique Credentials

Liaison International
Dec 14, 2022

More students are submitting more applications – particularly to selective schools

The Common Application, which handled submissions from more than 1.2 million students at more than 1,000 colleges last year, is fueling a trend in which students are applying to more schools than in past years. In particular, “the students driving up the average are overwhelmingly applying to selective private institutions.” On average, students submitted 6.2 applications in 2021/22, up from 4.63 in 2013/14. However, more than half applied to five or fewer schools. The highest number of students (183,373) applied to just one school, while the second highest applied to two, and the third highest applied to three. That correlation between an increasing number of applications and a declining number of applicants continues through the number applying to 19 schools (10,318). But more than 22,000 applied to 20 colleges, the maximum number allowed by the Common App. The number of high-volume applicants correlates “with wealth and a high level of access to higher education. High-volume applicants were 2.5 times as likely to attend a private high school as those who applied to fewer than five colleges. They were six times as likely to have applied under an early decision plan at least once.”

Source: Higher Ed Dive

Fitch Ratings predicts a worsening outlook for higher ed in 2023

Fitch Ratings, a major credit rating agency, cites rising costs, higher wages, and enrollment challenges as key factors as to why it anticipates a “deteriorating” outlook for the higher ed sector next year. A recent uptick in enrollment hasn’t offset pandemic-related declines, and enrollment woes are likely to continue for years. “Fitch pointed to the likelihood of consistent enrollment challenges over the next decade, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest, where demographic trends show a shrinking college-age population.” Declines in endowments, driven by investment market volatility in 2022, are also likely to weigh heavily on the financial well-being of schools in the months and years ahead; Fitch estimates endowments have dropped 10% across the sector. On the bright side, positive international enrollment and state budget trends may help offset those negative factors.

Source: Inside Higher Ed

Most students consider campus facilities when choosing a college

Two out of three recently surveyed students said campus facilities influenced their college choice at least somewhat. Overall, 21% of the 2,000 respondents said facilities mattered “a great deal.” Black students were most likely to say that (32%), and white students were the least likely (17%). Not all students place facilities at the top of their priority list: 34% of those at four-year schools said facilities had little or no impact on their decision, as did 45% of those at two-year institutions. The greatest number of students said a school’s library was the facility that attracted them, followed by the gym, dining area, labs, and dorms. “Business, finance, or accounting majors — as well as students overall at community colleges — are most likely to give [their] facilities the ‘gold star’ of excellence.”

Source: Inside Higher Ed

There are now more than one million unique credentials in the United States

Students interested in earning “unique educational credentials” — such as certificates, badges, licenses, and diplomas — now have nearly 1.1 million options to consider at U.S. institutions alone. The issuers of those credentials fall into one of four categories: “nonacademic providers” (656,753 credentials), post-secondary institutions (350,412), secondary schools (56,179), and massive open online courses (13,014). The non-profit organization that complied those numbers estimates that there were just 334,114 credentials available in 2018. “In the face of enrollment challenges battering open-access institutions in particular, many higher education leaders also see opportunity in badges and stackable credentials, which can be layered on top of each other toward a traditional two- or four-year degree. They hope such flexible options can help entice time-pressed working and adult students to enroll.”

Source: Higher Ed Dive

Liaison International

You may also enjoy

Over the last three decades, Liaison has helped over 31,000 programs on more than 1,000 campuses more effectively manage admissions through its Centralized Application Service (CAS™) technology and complementary application processing and support services. The higher education technology leader supports its partner institutions’ total enrollment goals by pairing CAS with its Enrollment Marketing (EM) platform as well as the recently acquired TargetX (CRM) and advanced analytics software Othot.