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Martin Van Der Werf Director, Chronicle Research Services The Chronicle of Higher Education Financial Uncertainty and the Admissions Class of Fall 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Martin Van Der Werf Director, Chronicle Research Services The Chronicle of Higher Education Financial Uncertainty and the Admissions Class of Fall 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Martin Van Der Werf Director, Chronicle Research Services The Chronicle of Higher Education Financial Uncertainty and the Admissions Class of Fall 2008

2 2008: A Puzzling Year 2008 started out as a record breaking year for college applications 78 percent of colleges reported an increase in applications 46 percent of colleges surveyed by Chronicle Research Services said the yield of admitted students, or the percentage of accepted students who matriculated, decreased this year. 75 percent said the yield drop was unexpected

3 Admissions Officer Survey In the fall of 2008 Chronicle Research Services surveyed 323 admissions officers Response rate gave a 95 percent representative certainty of all colleges Survey was composed of 54 questions about yield, the economy, and aid 46 percent of the respondents reported a yield decrease Two biggest reasons for the decrease: changes in the financial situations of the parents or students and more aggressive financial-aid offers from key competitors

4 Admissions Officer Survey College admissions officers cited the following factors most often as having had a negative influence on their yields: Changes in the financial situations of parents and/or students (76 percent) More aggressive financial-aid offers from key competitors (76 percent) More students attending community colleges (64 percent) Summer melt, or students who put down deposits but did not matriculate (60 percent) Decline in the value of homes (58 percent) Availability of student loans (50 percent)

5 Current Admissions Dilemma The Economy and the Housing Crisis Summer Melt More Students Attending Community Colleges Availability of Student Loans

6 Economy and Housing Crisis Survey respondents noted three closely related phenomena that had an unfavorable impact on yield: Negative Impact / Major Negative Changes in the financial situations of parents and/or students 47% Decline in the value of homes42% Home foreclosures28%

7 Economy and Housing Crisis At the end of the third quarter of 2008, U.S. home prices had dropped 16.6 percent from a year earlier, according to the authoritative Case-Shiller index Meanwhile College Tuition Continues to Increase More Than Healthcare, Inflation, and Housing

8 Summer Melt 43 percent of the survey respondents cited summer melt as having a negative impact on their yield The admissions director of a moderate-sized private university in the West said, We lost over 100 deposits over the summer. That s the highest ever at our place. At a small private college in the Midwest, We experienced a 48 percent increase in summer melt, reported the admissions director.

9 Community Colleges 44 percent of the survey participants said that students opting to attend community colleges negatively affected their colleges institutions yields After reviewing our win/loss data, five community colleges made our top 25. That has never happened before, said the admissions director at a small urban private college in the Northeast. Another admissions director – this one from a small private college in New England – said, Many reported that they would like to attend our institution in a year or so, but needed to save money right now.

10 Student Loans 40 percent of all admission officers surveyed identified the unavailability of student loans as a negative factor in determining the yield In mid-October, NAICU released the results of a survey that revealed that students at private colleges were finding it significantly harder to secure private loans. More alarmingly, nearly half of colleges say some students have been forced to take time off or go part-time as a result. Nearly half of the institutions surveyed reported between 11 and 50 students who could not secure a private loan this academic year, and 11% had more than 50 such students

11 How We Got Here More Aggressive Financial Aid Offers From Key Competitors International Students Need Based Financial Aid Incentives and Increased Merit Aid No Fees for Online Applications

12 Aggressive Financial Aid Cited by three out of five survey participants as leading cause for the negative impact on yield was more aggressive financial-aid offers from key competitors. This, of course, was mostly a factor for private colleges and universities, since public institutions don t compete as aggressively in financial aid. Among private colleges, it is a major headache: 67% of large private research universities, 66% of small private colleges, and 63% of moderate-size private institutions said financial-aid offers from competitors decreased their yield.

13 International Students Close to 40 percent of college admissions officials said that enrollment of international students had a positive impact on yield for the undergraduate class entering in Foreign-student enrollment in the United States reached a new record level in But the growth in international students is uneven, and it may not last. Other nations, particularly Canada and Britain, are competing aggressively for international students.

14 Need-Based Financial Aid Close to one-half of the admissions professionals indicated in the survey that greater need-based financial aid provided by their institutions had a positive impact on yields. While the private institutions struggle to maintain their policies, many public institutions have also become more selective. In fact, four of 10 state- supported institutions offer some merit aid despite the reduction of state subsidies at many of them.

15 Incentives and Merit Aid One-fourth of the survey participants indicated that incentives provided to sought-after students had a positive impact on this year s yield. Forty percent cited an increase in the granting of merit-based scholarships as having a positive impact. Small liberal-arts colleges and moderate-size public universities were the most likely to have reported a positive impact from increased merit scholarships, 44 percent and 42 percent, respectively.

16 Online Application Fees One-fourth of the survey participants cited the absence of fees for online applications as having a positive impact on their yields. One of six said that the use of one such electronic application, the Common Application, was having a positive impact on yield at their institutions. Because electronic applications are easier and less expensive to process, some colleges waive their application fees for those who apply online.

17 Looking Forward The Challenge Ahead Public Institutions Private Institutions Trends in Financial Counseling and New Financial Strategies New Strategies for Student Loans

18 The College of 2020 Chronicle Research Services is currently working on a series of reports about what college will look like in the year The reports will be on these topics: Student Enrollment Technology Facilities and Faculty

19 The College of 2020: Student Enrollment Convenience is the future. More students will be attending classes on line, studying part-time, taking classes from multiple universities, and jumping in and out of colleges. Students will demand more options for taking classes, to make it easier for them to do what they want, when they want to do it. Most colleges – the only possible exceptions will be the elite institutions with mostly residential students – will be forced to respond if they want to remain competitive.

20 The College of 2020: Student Enrollment NEW Chronicle Research Services Admissions Panel Survey Of the 119 institutions that responded to a survey, two-thirds said that currently, almost all of their students are full-time and age By 2020, only about half the institutions believe they will be primarily made up of traditional-age full-time students. By 2020, almost a third of respondents said they believe that students will take up to 60 percent of their classes online only. Now, almost no students at those colleges are online only.

21 Contact For more information on Chronicle Research Services, custom research, or this report please contact: Martin Van Der Werf Director, Chronicle Research Services


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