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Highlights from Higher Ed: Dishonest Applicants, Institutional Betrayal, Student Struggles and Declining Enrollment

David Art
Oct 29, 2021

One in Three White Students Admit to Lying About Their Race

Thirty-four percent of recently surveyed White college students said they lied on their applications by claiming to be a racial minority. The most common self-admitted lie was the claim to be Native American (48%). Nearly half of male respondents (48%) confessed to lying about their race, compared with 16% of women. “In terms of why they lied, 57% said they believed they would have a better chance of being admitted. Thirty-five percent said they believed that by lying they would get a better aid package. More than three-fourths of those who lied (77%) said they were admitted to colleges that they lied to. And 85% of them said they believed their lie helped them.” Those findings raise two difficult questions for admissions professionals: How do they know when an applicant is being dishonest, and what can they do about it?

Source: Inside Higher Ed

Students Said They Experienced “Institutional Betrayal” During the Pandemic

If students elsewhere feel the same about their schools’ response to COVID-19 as those at the University of Oregon, then academic leaders across the country may need to do a lot of work to regain their trust. In two different surveys of that school’s students — conducted during the fall 2020 and winter 2021 semesters — more than half of respondents said “they experienced institutional betrayal from the U of Oregon’s handling of the pandemic, and this feeling was linked to trauma-related distress.” However, the number who felt a sense of “coronavirus-related institutional betrayal” dropped from 67% in the first survey to 55% in the second. The most frequently cited betrayals involved scenarios in which coronavirus transmission and infection seemed normal or likely to occur.

Source: Higher Ed Dive

Minority Community College Students Face Greater Coronavirus-Related Struggles

The number of community college students who said their personal financial situation has worsened during the pandemic rose to 34% this past spring, from 30% in the fall of 2020. Nearly 25% of those who participated in the spring survey said the coronavirus crisis is a direct cause of their struggle to pay for college. “Disaggregating that data shows that Asian, Native American, Black, and Latinx students were more likely to have financial difficulties than their White counterparts.” Due to safety concerns, 59% of students said they avoid events on campus when social distancing cannot be guaranteed. Among those respondents, most “were students whose communities experienced higher COVID mortality rates, women, and older students.”

Source: Diverse Education

College Enrollment Numbers Drop Again, Despite Gain in Grad Students

Overall college enrollment dropped 2.3% nationwide on a year-over-year basis during the fall 2021 semester. On a two-year basis, enrollment was down 4.6%. However, enrollment trends varied based on the types of students and schools in question. “For example, while undergraduate enrollment continues to decline, falling 3.2% this fall on top of last fall’s drop of 3.4%, graduate enrollment has increased for two years in a row. The number of graduate students was up 2.1% over last year, for a total two-year increase of 5.3%.” Enrollment at public four-year schools was down 2.3%, compared with just 0.7% at private non-profit institutions.

Source: Forbes

David Art

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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.