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Young people seeking higher education these days, they say, are less likely to be white or male, more likely to be Hispanic, may be the first person in their family to continue an education past high school, and will likely need help paying for it. The demographic shifts mean big changes for colleges, too, analysts say – perhaps including restructuring admissions requirements, boosting financial aid and providing remediation to bring students from under-performing schools up to speed.
Marissa Espinoza writes: It's often been said that education is the great equalizer. But in 2014, access to education is hardly equal. Although college is not always the preferred destination for everyone, those with the goal of a college degree should have an equal opportunity to access it. Economists have proved the benefits of a college degree. A 2013 Pew Charitable Trusts study found that a four-year college degree promotes upward mobility.
About 150 Syracuse University students Friday protested funding cuts they say disproportionately hurt students of color on campus. One key was the university's plan to reduce its Posse Scholars program recruitment efforts.
Private schools across northern Indiana are using tuition incentives, new programs and competitive sports to boost enrollment this year as many public schools see their numbers decline. Trine University in Angola, Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne and Grace College in Winona Lake are reporting enrollment increases of 11 percent to 17 percent this year, and officials at those schools hope the growth continues.
Some high school counselors are worried about another college admissions hurdle students have to clear: repeatedly showing interest in certain colleges, even though they have already applied.
The Common Application announced here Friday that it would no longer require member colleges to use "holistic" admissions in which candidates are reviewed in ways that go beyond numbers, most typically with essays. The shift is a significant one for the Common Application, which has seen huge growth in membership over the last decade, experienced major technology problems a year ago, and could face difficulties growing if it continued its ban on colleges that don't use holistic admissions, which has been a requirement since the organization started 40 years ago.
Edvance Foundation Director Dr. Brian C. Mitchell writes: Finding a good college president is a little like choosing the right college. You know it when you feel it. This is not to say that the best presidents are all things to all people. College presidencies are demanding jobs with multiple constituencies.
Rocco L. Capraro writes: Today’s college men, as a group, are not doing so well — in comparison with today’s college women and with college men of the past. Many men are simply not attending college at all; and of those who matriculate, they are not graduating in large numbers, again, as compared to women and to previous generations of men. Coming out of high school, they are not as well prepared for college. They are reading less than girls and less than boys of older generations. In fact, if college admissions were gender-blind, the vast majority of students at our most selective colleges would be women.
Eric Hoover writes: Admissions offices, though, must continuously hone their marketing strategies. Ms. McDermott, director of admissions at the College of the Holy Cross, in Massachusetts, described how her institution recently had adjusted its logo, adopted a new slogan (“Ask more”), and revamped the booklet it sends to prospective students. The latter, designed to show aspects of the Jesuit liberal-arts college that one might not expect, includes a photo of a professor who happens to have pink hair.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson writes: The ability to aggregate, integrate, validate, structure, and fully use the burgeoning mass of information available will define success in this data-driven future – including for universities. A new way of working and learning is required – what I have called the “New Polytechnic” – collaborating across disciplines and sectors and regions to harness the power of these tools and technologies to address the key intersecting challenges and opportunities of our time.
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