Highlights from Higher Ed: Rural Marketing, Free Tuition and Budget Cuts

RJ Nichol
Mar 29, 2019

Marketing to rural students would be a game changer

Researchers at UCLA and the University of Arizona have discovered that college recruiters spend more time visiting higher-income, urban high schools than lower-income, rural high schools. That leaves rural high school students to travel to college recruiters if they are interested in their schools. The decline of college enrollment in the past few years could be explained, in part, by this gap. Many rural students aren’t as eager or willing to move far away for college. In some cases, their parents may be skeptical of the benefits of pursuing a college degree far from home. Rural students are an almost untapped admissions gold mine if recruiters and colleges will go to them.

Source: NPR

Free tuition for undocumented students

About 15 states currently offer tuition-free programs but not all of them have extended their programs to include undocumented immigrants. Following its state legislature’s passage of the “Dream Act” earlier this year, New York is expected to join the group of states offering financial aid and grants or scholarships to in-state, undocumented students in a move that will affect about 146,000 state residents. Maryland will kick off its “Promise Scholarship” program this year as well. California offers a similar program, but does not track undocumented students or even ask for their immigration status. California saw an increase from 55,000 to 63,000 two-year students who used this program from 2013 to 2016.

Source: Inside Higher Ed

Proposed federal budget cuts target education, again

Once again, the Trump Administration wants to cut the Education Department’s budget. Its recently released proposal for spending in the 2020 fiscal year calls for slashing the department’s funding by an estimated $7.1 billion. This cut, which is expected to be rejected by Congress, sends a message that the administration thinks education is a state and local issue, not a federal priority. The cuts target the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, funding for teacher development and research programs at the National Institutes of Health. However, the proposal would increase spending for federal charter-school grants and earmark $100 million for new school-safety grants.

Source: The Atlantic

Data science programs are growing and working with industry job postings for data scientists rose by 75% from 2015 to 2018, and the trend is expected to continue. Although entry-level salaries in the field average just under six figures, the nationwide shortage of individuals with data science skills is estimated to exceed 150,000 workers. Large cities, such as New York and Los Angeles, are particularly hard hit by the lack of qualified employees. In response, schools such as UC Berkeley and Boston University have added programs in data science and constructed new data science centers, respectively. The University of Virginia, for its part, has launched a school of data science with undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs that include a focus on ethics. And the University of Houston, with a $10 million gift from Hewlett Packard, is forming a data science program that will include a cyber focus. HP will be involved in some of the lecturing, and researchers at the university may work with the company as well.

Source: Education Dive

RJ Nichol

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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.