Fuel the Trends You Wish to See in the World
Fuel the Trends You Wish to See in the WorldKristen Capezza, Executive Director of University Admissions, Adelphi University
Conference after conference, the same question rears its head: What’s changed over the years? If you’ve been following the trends, you’re quick to answer with topics of rising applications, declining yields, and growing disconnects between ability to pay, willingness to pay, and actual tuition costs. And yet, we’ve got this reoccurring, insatiable hunger to see the charts, hear the stats, and shock our systems with the real-life issues facing higher ed. I guess that explains the standing-room only in today’s session focused on those very trends.
It was a short 75 minutes crowded with plenty of updates. The takeaway? Times are changing and we’re forced to face the changes head on. Here’s what you need to know.
- We’re stuck in a revolving door of increased application competition, fueled by our own actions. Application volume has shown nearly a 60 percent increase over the past decade. Here’s the pattern: Students apply to more schools. Competition increases for seats in the class. Colleges faced with only so many spots drop acceptance rates. Students panic about chances for acceptance and apply to more schools. And there you have it, we’ve come full circle. It’s time to break that cycle.
- We’re forced to dig a little deeper for measures of student success. In all but the extremes of most and least competitive schools, average SAT scores have remained flat or are declining. High schools are riding the wave of eliminating class rank. Colleges and universities are challenged by this modern-day, ever-morphing student profile and seek alternative measures of student promise, increasing the pressures on students to stand out among the crowd.
- ROI still matters. Long-term benefits in higher salaries. Lower unemployment rates. Drastically decreased smoking rates. Enhanced commitment to civic engagement. Yes, tuition costs are rising, but one fact remains constant: a college degree pays off.
We hear the trends. We see the trends. We live the trends. But don’t forget, we fuel the trends. Together, let’s work to ensure that the next decade shows the trend lines we wish to see.