Highlights: Minority Enrollment, FAFSA Confusion, Unsatisfied Campus Workers, and Student Parent Money Woes 

Aug 25, 2022

Enrollment of Underrepresented Students at Highly Selective Schools Increased in the Fall 

The number of underrepresented students enrolled at 16 private colleges and universities deemed to be ‘highly selective’ rose modestly last fall, although the number of Black students increased significantly. Private colleges with admission rates below 25% reported that the number of underrepresented minority students rose to 29.4% last fall, from 26.0% one year earlier. Underrepresented student populations include those who identify as “Black, Hispanic/Latinx, Native American, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and Two or More Races.” The report also noted that “the number of Black enrolled students at those more selective private schools increased by nearly 19%, while the same metric for students of two or more races went up by about 20%, and approximately 9% for Hispanic students.” 

Source: NBC News 

More Students Completed FAFSA Forms, But Confusion Remains 

The number of students who completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) increased modestly during the past two years — from 68% to 70% — although many applicants remain in the dark about how the program works. Only 25% knew that the application window opens in October. Although there are no income-based restrictions on eligibility, 25% of recently surveyed families said only low-income families are eligible, and 36% mistakenly believed their own income was too high to apply. Approximately half of the respondents said they support the idea of states requiring high school seniors to fill out a FAFSA. “Research suggests that students who fill out the FAFSA are more likely to attend college. Louisiana, for example, experienced a 6% increase in higher education enrollment after it required graduating seniors to complete the FAFSA.” 

Source: Higher Ed Dive 

Most Faculty and Staff Feel Unheard in the Campus Workplace 

A recent survey of 550 higher-ed faculty and staff members revealed that most (59%) feel “their voice is not heard at work” in discussions about pay, benefits, school leadership, and mental health. A comparison of that survey’s results with those of a larger, multi-industry survey indicates that higher-ed workers also have lower-than-average levels of workplace satisfaction. For example, whereas 51% of workers, in general, believe their compensation is “unique and different” compared with what other employers could offer, only 39% of higher-ed respondents feel the same way. When asked whether their income allows them to lead the lives they want, higher-ed workers were also less likely to say yes (37% vs. 46%). “Just 41% say their institutional leadership understands campus culture and what it’s like to work at their institution. Further, just 41% say their campus leadership models the institution’s values, while only 34% feel their institution understands their needs as an employee.” 

Source: eCampus News 

Working Students with Children Face Daunting Financial Challenges 

There is not a single public institution in any of the 50 states that a working parent earning minimum wage for 10 hours a week could afford to attend while simultaneously paying for tuition and childcare, according to a study from the non-profit Education Trust. On average, student parents earning minimum wage would need to work more than 50 hours each week just to get by. Those in Washington would have the easiest time making ends meet because of that state’s relatively low college expenses and high minimum wage — but they would still need to work as many as 33 hours each week. In Pennsylvania and Georgia, which “offer some of the worst conditions for student parents,” those individuals would need to work 81 and 77 hours each week, respectively. “The researchers looked at the average cost of tuition for low-income students at public universities after grants were applied. They then added childcare costs minus the value of 10 hours of minimum wage work to determine a student parent ‘affordability gap.’”  

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.