Why this is important.

The admissions process is essential to the prosperity and sustainability of higher education. All colleges and universities, regardless of institution type, rely on enrollment strategies to attract, retain, and graduate students. Therefore, trustees have a fiduciary responsibility to ensure their institution adopts effective enrollment management strategies and related institutional policies, especially regarding financial aid and tuition discounting.

Additionally, the Varsity Blues admissions scandal trained a national spotlight on the need to ensure ethical admissions practices. In March 2019, federal prosecutors filed charges against 50 people in six states ranging from fraud to racketeering for attempting to buy admissions to a number of selective universities. As a result, boards of trustees are questioning whether similar scandals could occur at their institutions.

In today’s challenging higher education landscape, AGB empowers our members to critically analyze their enrollment management strategy and business model to enable their institutions to thrive, not just survive.

Sources:
Understanding Enrollment Management by Don Hossler and Jerome A. Lucido, AGB 2020
“Questions Boards Should Ask about their Enrollment Strategy,” AGB Blog Post by RNL, 2020
“Admissions Integrity: Hard Questions Board Members Should Be Asking,” AGB Blog Post by Baker Tilly, 2019
“Another Day, Another Scandal, and Another Wake-Up Call for College and University Boards,” AGB Blog Post by Richard D. Legon, June 25, 2019
“Safeguarding Ethics in College Admissions” by Charlotte West, Trusteeship, January/February 2020 

Questions for boards.

These are key questions for your board to consider:

Strategy and Processes

Consequential Questions:

  1. Does our institution have a comprehensive enrollment strategy?
  2. Is our institution effectively managing the transition to new learning modalities in response to student demand?
  3. Who is involved in our admissions process? Are staffing levels adequate and are all staff members trained?
  4. What systems support our enrollment management processes?

Sources:

“Questions Boards Should Ask about their Enrollment Strategy,” AGB Blog Post by RNL, 2020
“Admissions Integrity: Hard Questions Board Members Should Be Asking,” AGB Blog Post by Baker Tilly, 2019

Risks

Consequential Questions:

  1. What are our greatest admissions risks? Are controls in place to mitigate or address these risks?
  2. What is our business plan if our enrollment revenue drops precipitously?
  3. What areas of our institution could be impacted by admissions improprieties and what mechanisms are in place to ensure that our admissions processes are above reproach?

Sources:

“Questions Boards Should Ask about their Enrollment Strategy,” AGB Blog Post by RNL, 2020
“Admissions Integrity: Hard Questions Board Members Should Be Asking,” AGB Blog Post by Baker Tilly, 2019

Metrics

Consequential Questions:

  1. Is our institution aggressively managing its price position, discount rate, and enrollment-related net-operating revenue?
  2. Are our retention and completion rates within norms?
  3. What are our admissions requirements? How are they tracked?

Sources:

“Questions Boards Should Ask about their Enrollment Strategy,” AGB Blog Post by RNL, 2020
“Admissions Integrity: Hard Questions Board Members Should Be Asking,” AGB Blog Post by Baker Tilly, 2019

We carefully curated these staff-picked resources for you:

The Strategic Enrollment Imperative

Webinar On Demand
Presented by Kevin Crockett and Philip Acree Cavalier

All resources.