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Highlights from Higher Ed: Involved Parents, Higher-Ed Jobs, GenZ Distrust, Data Analytics

Liaison International
Sep 8, 2022

Parents of College-Bound Students Want to Hear Directly from Schools  

Selling prospective students on your school may not be enough to ensure enrollment. Parents are playing an increasingly involved role in the selection process, and 75% now want to receive direct communications from institutions under consideration before approving a decision. Cost, debt, and value are among their top concerns, according to a recent survey of more than 2,000 parents and guardians. Today’s parents “operate like college education is a product and are more anxious and less trusting than previous generations of parents… Parents want to hear about finances from the start of a college search. Parents of students who are part of underserved racial minority groups especially want direct communication.” Twenty percent of families begin the college search process during the first year of high school. That number rises to almost 50% by sophomore year. 

Source: Higher Ed Dive 

Event Planner and Research Analyst Top the List of Fastest-Growing Higher-Ed Jobs 

This has been a good time for event planning assistants looking for work on campus. The number hired at U.S. colleges and universities in 2021/22 increased by 193% from one year earlier, which was the largest growth rate of any in the higher-ed workforce. The list of jobs with the most growth also included institutional research analyst (161%), head of campus museum (120%), and tutor (114%). Positions that experienced the largest declines in hiring were health and safety technician (-37%), head of campus learning resources center (-36%), online instruction operations manager (-32%), and dishwasher (-29%). “These decreases reflect a decrease in the number of people in these positions since 2020-21, either because the institution has reduced the number of available positions or because those positions have unfilled vacancies.” 

Source: College and University Professional Association for Human Resources 

GenZ Doesn’t Have Much Faith in College 

Young adults are far less likely than others to have trust in colleges. Only 51% of Generation Z survey respondents said they “tend to trust U.S. colleges and that the institutions would need to do something bad to lose that trust,” whereas 65% of Baby Boomers said they feel that way. Overall, most students (56%) and employers (54%) believe that the trust people have in a college or university is a crucial factor in shaping the school’s future reputation. On the bright side, people still trust colleges more than government, corporate, or media organizations. “About four in 10 high school students said hearing from a university’s current students or alumni would be a top source of information to increase trust in an institution.” 

Source: Higher Ed Dive 

Many Schools Still Aren’t Using Advanced Data Analytics to Ensure Student Success 

The number of colleges and universities leveraging advanced data analytics to attract students and enable their ongoing success is on the upswing, which means schools that fail to embrace new digital strategies may run the risk of missing key enrollment and retention goals. “Using predictive analytics, we can identify early risk factors rather than waiting for students to find solutions for themselves,” a Georgia State student success director told The Wall Street Journal in August. Artificial intelligence can help schools proactively assist students by identifying those who are at risk academically, sending early academic warnings, and tailoring guidance for students. “Many schools are still behind the technical curve. An estimated 20% to 25% of higher-education institutions don’t have data-analytics applications in place, due to such factors as budget constraints or lack of buy-in from faculty and staff.” 

Source: The Wall Street Journal 

Liaison International

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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.