College Admissions Trends 2013 – Part 1 of 4

On February 26th, I attended a workshop at Rutgers University featuring a panel of college admissions and high school guidance personnel. They reviewed college admissions issues, concerns, and trends for members of the NJ Association of College Admission Counseling (NJACAC). The common themes were increased applications, more applications from international students, more demand for certain majors, continued building on-campus, and NJ state colleges looking for students from outside of NJ. Do any of these trends surprise you?

Some questions discussed included the impact of the economy on colleges and financial aid. Some private colleges are offering additional financial aid, with some discounting up to 50%. The panelists didn’t see how that could be supported on a long-term basis. Parents are asking more questions on college completion rates; it is taking students 5.6 years to graduate on the average. Some colleges are seeing the willingness to pay for college going down among those who can afford to pay. There is also an increase in families appealing financial aid awards. As parents, how has the economy impacted how you view a college education for your son or daughter?

In my next post, I will review the comments from the admissions personnel from Rider University, Fordham University, and The College of NJ (TCNJ).

Financial Health of Colleges

I recently attended the New Jersey Association for College Admission Counseling (NJACAC) program on “Admissions Trends”. One trend is that a growing number of small liberal arts colleges are having financial difficulties. A panelist suggested that potential students and their parents be on the look for signs of poor financial health including:

  1. Significant deferred maintenance
  2. Faculty and staff layoffs
  3. Closed programs
  4. Dropping of varsity or extra-curricular activities
  5. Closed residence halls
  6. Downgraded bond ratings.