Highlights from Higher Ed: Data-Based Decisions, High Salary Expectations, Hispanic Enrollment, and Cyber Attacks

May 16, 2023

Enrollment and admissions top the data-improvement wish list

Just 29% of higher ed leaders say their institutions use data to guide decisions about business, financial, and operational decisions whereas 43% rely on a combination of data, “hunches, and educated guesses.” When asked which areas could benefit the most from improved data, survey respondents were more likely to say admissions and enrollment (44%), followed by financial services (41%) and student engagement (35%). Half said real-time access to financial data would “dramatically improve” their ability to achieve performance objectives. Nearly as many (49%) said access to information about “trending behaviors” would have the same effect, and 48% said access to data-driven insights about enrollment and retention data would dramatically improve their performance outcomes. “Incomplete or disconnected data remains a barrier to gleaning more value from data. Eight in 10 respondents (83%) said it would be ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ helpful to have a single source of truth for unified data across systems and departments.” 

Source: Higher Ed Dive

Most undergrads have unrealistic salary expectations

A recent survey of 1,000 undergraduate students revealed that they typically overestimate the salary they will earn one year after graduation by nearly $30,000. On average, respondents said they expect to earn almost $85,000 a year after receiving their degrees. In reality, recent graduates typically earn about $56,000. And whereas they expect to be earning approximately $205,000 a decade after graduation, their actual salary is more likely to be just under $95,000. “Although about 97% of students would consider lowering salary expectations, they wouldn’t work for less than, on average, $72,580 at their first job…High-paying fields, such as engineering, math, or computer science, will pay nearly the same or lower than last year.”

Source: Diverse Education

Hispanic college enrollment has doubled since 2005

The number of young (18-24) Hispanic students enrolled in the nation’s colleges and universities climbed from 1.2 million in 2005 to 2.4 million in 2001, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau. The percentage of Hispanic people in their late 20s who had graduated from high school also soared during the same period, from 58.2% to 88.5%. The number of those between the ages of 25 and 34 who had “some college” increased as well, from one-third to half. “The number with less than a high school degree dropped 45.8% to 1.5 million. There were increases in all other categories: high school only (up 28.3% to 2.9 million); some college (up 76.5% to 2.9 million); and a bachelor’s degree or higher (up 145.2% to 2.2 million).”

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Ransomware attacks on colleges and universities are on the rise

Nearly four out of five higher ed institutions (79%) around the world were targeted in ransomware attacks last year, up from 64% in 2021. Most of those (59%) said they lost “a lot” of business and revenue, compared with 28% that reported less significant losses. “Hackers exploited system vulnerabilities in 4 in 10 higher education ransomware attacks, making them the sector’s most common root issue. Compromised credentials caused another 37% of attacks, while malicious emails led to 12% of reported incidents.” Ransomware attacks typically involve hackers demanding payments from institutions in exchange for not releasing sensitive information they obtained illegally. In addition to the immediate costs associated with such crimes, institutions may also face the wrath of students. In one case last year, students whose information was stolen sued their school for failing to protect their data. “The group that took credit for the breach, known as Hive, emailed students saying they had retrieved ‘personal information, medical records, psychological assessments, and many other sensitive data,’ and threatened to sell their social security numbers.”

Source: Higher Ed Dive


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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.