2016 Inside Higher Ed Survey of Directors of Admissions

on November 4, 2016

Inside Higher Ed publishes an annual survey of directors of admissions each year in September. Key findings from the survey include:

  • More than half (52 percent) of public colleges have a pathways program, designed to prepare international students to pursue a degree in the U.S., compared with 15 percent of private non-profit colleges.
  • Seven-eighths (87 percent) of private non-profit colleges believe they are losing applicants because of concerns about student loan debt, compared with half (51 percent) of public colleges.
  • Only 7 percent of public colleges consider more than $30,000 in student loan debt to be reasonable, compared with 35 percent of private non-profit colleges.
  • Most (88 percent) of community colleges believe there are students who could benefit from a community college education but do not enroll because of a lack of funds.
  • Two-thirds of colleges (57 percent of public colleges and 73 percent of private non-profit colleges) have increased their admission of out-of-state and international students. Some public colleges (17 percent) and no private non-profit colleges have faced political or public scrutiny over the increased admission of out-of-state students.
  • Only 10 percent to 15 percent of public and private non-profit colleges agree that prospective students understand the value of a liberal arts education.
  • Most colleges (87 percent) do not feel that the new SAT represents a significant improvement over the old version. Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) expect more colleges to go test-optional in the future.
  • Only about a fifth (19 percent) of colleges feel that applicants and families find the college admissions process easy to understand.
  • More than a third (39 percent) of colleges expect to make admissions decisions earlier because of prior-prior year.
  • Two-thirds (66 percent) of colleges expect to make financial aid awards earlier because of prior-prior year.
  • Less than a quarter (18 percent) of colleges expect an increase in applications from low-income students because of prior-prior year.
  • More than a third (43 percent) of colleges expect to change one or more key dates because of prior-prior year. Key dates include “anything from when applications are available to the final submission deadline.”

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