Highlights from Higher Ed: Preferences for Master’s Classes, Discount Rates, Remote Learning at Community Colleges, and the Next College Cohort

Jun 16, 2023

Almost half of potential business master’s degree students want in-person classes

Relatively few business master’s candidates want to study in fully remote (14%) or blended (15%) academic environments, and nearly half (47%) said their preference is for full-time, fully onsite classes. About one quarter (24%) favor part-time, on-campus study. In 2022, 38% said they wanted blended or online learning. The number of students who agreed with the statement, “I am more likely to consider studying all or most of my master’s online,” fell from 60% last year to 52% this year. Researchers polled more than 1,700 potential master’s degree students between the ages of 21 and 40 in 25 countries. “In the study’s other major finding, nearly a third (31%) of prospective students cited self-confidence as the most important attribute to acquire from a master’s degree, up from 25% in the previous year’s study. Leadership (30%), communication (28%), and critical thinking (24%) remain crucial skills amongst master’s students.” Getting “value for the money” is the top reason for choosing a program (32%), followed by teaching quality (31%), employment considerations (24%), and academic reputation (21%).

Source: Poets & Quants

A closer look at discount rates

A report from the National Association of College and University Business Officers reveals that most new, full-time freshman (91%) receive some type of financial aid from the institutions they attend. On average, the award amounts to 62% of the school’s advertised tuition. Returning students typically receive a lower tuition discount because the amount of their reward stays the same each year even if tuition rises. As a result, “institutions are receiving only 44 cents on each dollar charged from new freshmen while receiving 49 cents on each dollar charged from continuing students.” Less selective schools (those admitting more than 51% of applicants) may tend to give larger discounts than their more competitive peers because they are trying to fill seats. Also, those schools are more likely to award money based on merit and other considerations in addition to financial need, whereas ‘need’ is the primary determinant of aid at more competitive schools. “The selective/highly selective schools receive a median net tuition of $29,429 per student compared with the less selective schools which receive only about $17,500 per student.”

Source: Forbes

At community colleges “disengagement increased with distance”

Generally speaking, online-only community college students were less likely to engage with other students and faculty than those who had attended at least one in-person class, according to survey results gathered last spring from 83,000 students at almost 200 schools. Half of online-only students said they never collaborated with peers, compared with 17% of those who attended classes in person. In addition, they were less likely to work outside of class with other students (65% never did, vs 40%), less likely to engage with instructors (45% vs 50%), and more likely to say they never discussed course topics with instructors outside of the classroom (58% vs 43%). “Online-only students were also less likely to use support services like tutoring or skill labs and were less likely to have engaged in service-learning activities or field experiences.”

Source: Diverse Education

High school students have less confidence in college, more concerns about mental health

Input from more than 20,000 high school students, counselors, parents, and college admissions professionals indicates that the next generation of college students — referred to as Gen P because they were in high school during the pandemic — has a relatively dim view of the college experience. While 73% of counselors believe the pandemic weakened students’ academic preparations, 26% of students are worried about being able to obtain a college degree. In 2023, 22% of students chose not to go to college because they did not feel mentally ready — an increase of 8% in two years. “Despite leveling off last year, high school student sentiment for higher education has become undeniably worse. Specifically, a fifth of students (20%) now agree ‘college isn’t worth the cost.’ In 2019, less than a tenth agreed with that statement (8%).”

Source: University Business


You may also enjoy

Over the last three decades, Liaison has helped over 40,000 programs on more than 1,200 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.