Wednesday’s Parent: Enrollment management and college admission

Enrollment Management and college admissions. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Enrollment Management and college admissions. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

While students are busy beefing up their qualifications to increase their chances for college admission, colleges are strategizing to find the most attractive candidates to send acceptance letters. That’s what enrollment management is all about.

“Enrollment Management (EM) is a strategy used to recruit and retain the best-fit and right amount of students to a college,” Enrollment Strategist Karen Full (see Twitter chat guest info below) explains. To do this, institutions of higher learning integrate data from several departments including “Admissions, Financial Aid, and Records, with Marketing and University Relations, Enrollment and Marketing Research, Career Services, and Employer Relations,” David Kalsbeek, vice president for Enrollment Management at DePaul University said. Colleges invest a lot of time, money and expertise to get students to apply and select those to attend who will raise the school’s status and keep it financially healthy.

Students don’t have the same resources to find colleges that will best help them achieve personal and professional goals. However, they can use some published data and statistics to help form a good college list. The college-bound can check out the graduation rate to see how long it takes the average student to earn a diploma. The longer it takes, the more time for college costs to accumulate. The retention rate will show the percentage of students that return the following year. Students can also investigate how many students go on to graduate school or find employment within six months of graduation.

Perhaps the savviest thing students can do is to be a smart higher education consumer when faced with slick advertising and marketing. Compare a college’s admission requirements with student qualifications to be realistic about admission chances. Visit good on paper colleges to see if they live up to expectations. Make the college choice about finding the most logical place for the next phase of education based on academics, programs, extracurriculars, finances and location. Then match the fave picks with the degree of connection felt on campus and in the surrounding area. Students are more likely to do their best when they are motivated and invested in the college they attend.

Read Suzanne’s post: Colleges Want YOU!

READ MORE:

Is college a love match or a consumer purchase?

Two necessary steps before searching for colleges

Learn how to participate in Wednesday’s Parent Night on #CampusChat!

RECAP:

Don’t worry if you missed any great insights about Enrollment Management and College Admissions from our chat. We have a transcript of #CampusChat Recap 3/25: Enrollment Management with Karen Full on storify

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Tonight is Wednesday’s Parent night (the fourth Wednesday of each month) on #CampusChat, Wednesday, March 25, 9pm ET/6pm PT. We will talk with Karen Full, former college admissions director, now enrollment strategist with Longmire & Company, about enrollment management and college admissions. Karen has counseled many students and families on choosing a college. Please join @SuzanneShaffer and me-@pocsmom with our guest @KarenAFull and bring your questions and comments.

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Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from http://www.pocsmom.com to http://www.parentscountdowntocollegecoach.com and vice versa.

Wednesday’s Parent: 6 reasons to think grad school in college search

Adding grad school to college list. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Adding grad school to college list. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

There are many factors students consider when composing a college list or choosing a college to attend but graduate school is often not one of them. That omission can be costly for students who decide to continue their higher education beyond a bachelor’s degree (B.A.). Here are six reasons why your college-bound student should think grad school before saying yes to a college:

  1. Careers Certain careers require advanced degrees beyond a B.A. If a student is considering such a field, checking graduate school applicant qualifications makes sense. Students can discover right away if a college has the courses, majors and internships necessary to best prepare for the next admission process.
  2. Grad school acceptance Graduating from college is not an automatic admission into graduate school. It can be even more competitive than undergraduate programs. Students can check a college’s stats for number of students attending graduate/professional schools to gauge how successful past grads have been to gain admittance into graduate schools and programs.
  3. Undergrad/Grad school programs Many undergrad schools offer postbaccalaureate programs. Students can take a look at graduate curricula while researching undergrad academic programs. They can also find out the acceptance rate of undergrad students gaining admission to their own school’s grad programs.
  4. Combined undergrad/grad programs Some schools offer combined degree programs that put students on the fast track to obtain their advanced degree. This is a great deal for students sure of their career goals because they achieve their college and career dreams in less time thereby shaving college expenses.
  5. Costs Graduate degrees can be much more expensive than the dollars shelled out to earn an undergrad diploma. When considering college costs, students can tally what they expect by combining the number of years necessary to earn the desired undergrad and grad degrees. Students can decide to make it all affordable and to lower costs by setting priorities when apportioning dollars between college and graduate school choices. Read Planning a Budget for Grad School for tips on preparing financially for grad school.
  6. Financial aid Students shouldn’t expect need-based and merit-based aid to be the same offered to those studying for a B.A. Federal financial aid programs for graduate students consist of student loans with hardly any exceptions unless limited to certain occupations or work/study programs. Some states and schools may offer a few fellowships and the latter may have research or teaching assistant positions for grad students. Some professional, scholarly and other organizations may sponsor scholarship contests but the majority of such programs are solely for undergrads. A few universities discount their grad tuition for their own undergrads under certain circumstances. it can pay in the future to investigate these options now.

Graduate school is very different from college. It’s no longer about gaining knowledge via a major, minor and general graduation requirements but concentrating on a selected field of study. The college-bound can prepare for both at the start of the college process.

Read Suzanne’s postIs Grad School in Your Teen’s Future?

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Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

The bonus is on the fourth Wednesday of each month when Suzanne and I will host Twitter chat #CampusChat at 9pm ET/6pm PT. We will feature an expert on a topic of interest for parents of the college-bound. 

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from www.pocsmom.com to http://www.parentscountdowntocollegecoach.com/ and vice versa.

Wednesday’s Parent: Choosing an admission program is like buying a mattress

Choosing an admission program is like buying a mattress. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Choosing an admission program is like buying a mattress. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

A college admission program has to fit a student comfortably like a customer finding the right mattress. In the end, both will be making their own bed and lying in it, even if one of them is in a dorm bunk bed. I was thinking of the similarities as I tried out a few in a local store.

There are lots of choices but the comfort and cost vary. A wrong decision can cause sleepless nights, a hefty blow to the pocketbook, and change the course of the next umpteen years. The pressure is on to make good choices.

My need for new sleeping arrangements coincides with the November deadline for college applications under early admission programs. That means the college-bound and their parents are under pressure, too. First they have to find out which admission programs colleges on their list offer. Second they have to decide which one offers the best chance of admission and suitable financial aid package.

The possibilities include Early Decision (ED), Early Action (EA), Restricted Early Action (REA), other hybrid ED-EA, or not apply early at all and go with Regular Decision (RD). Those that can’t decide now may also submit when they are ready via Rolling Admission (RA).

Q  Who benefits most from each admission program? 

A  ED allows colleges to fill up their classes early with students with the strongest credentials and finances who declare a college as their one choice. EA demonstrates the students’ strong interest in a college while keeping the option to compare other offers of admission and financial aid. RD enables students to submit additional months of senior year accomplishments to supplement their application and compare other offers. Check the school’s rules for REA and other admission programs to determine which early or non-early admission program benefits you.

I don’t know whether a few minutes of lying down will be good enough for me to test whether or not I will get a solid eight hours (Ha!) of rest. Neither do most 17-year-olds know at the beginning of their senior year what their 18-year-old selves want as they near high school graduation. Whether it is a change of my body or the student’s heart or mind, doesn’t matter. We both have to make a decision based on our research now and what we want to achieve in the future. We will deal with the consequences of our decisions and move on.

To help me decide, I reread 7 Shakespearean steps to good decision-making. Students and parents can also reread College Application & Early Decision and College Admission Applications.

Read Suzanne’s post: EA and ED–Just Get It Over With (and other reasons) 


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Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

The bonus is on the fourth Wednesday of each month when Suzanne and I will host Twitter chat #CampusChat at 9pm ET/6pm PT. We will feature an expert on a topic of interest for parents of the college-bound. 

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from www.pocsmom.com to http://www.parentscountdowntocollegecoach.com/ and vice versa.

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READ more: Early admission applications sent, now 7 things to do 

Wednesday’s Parent: High School courses and college admissions

Choosing level of difficulty of High School courses. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Choosing level of difficulty of High School courses. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Picking clubs are a piece of cake compared to choosing high school courses. You can adapt the tips I provided in Pick a club but not any club to select electives, especially the fifth one about personal growth. It gets a little trickier for required core classes because the choice isn’t about subject matter but level of difficulty. The dilemma is balancing that with degree of course completion success displayed as grades on high school transcripts.

Advanced classes come in many forms. Highs schools may have their own Honors classes for more in depth studies. They may offer special curricula via AP or IB programs that many colleges consider either for increased admission chances or college credit. They may have an arrangement with a college to provide dual enrollment in certain classes for college course credit. How a college treats advanced classes and accompanying grades vary so check first and research costs, if any.

Colleges want students to stretch academically and take rigorous course work to demonstrate college readiness. Students want to show themselves as good catches. College Admission Officers often recommend students take the hardest classes they can and do well in.

Should the college-bound risk poorer grades and take advanced classes or play it safe?

The problem is this is the question most frequently asked but it is the wrong one to focus on. The reason students seek higher education is for knowledge and experiences to prepare for the future as a contributing adult member of society. High school is the perquisite so use the opportunity to challenge the intellect and be prepared to put in the effort.

What happens when a student struggles?

This is the right question to ask because it it the Plan B every student should have no matter what course or job they undertake. Recognizing the need for help, knowing the available resources, and seeking the appropriate aid is not only smart but a major step toward maturity and independence.

Collaboration, communication, problem-solving, time management and leadership are soft skills colleges seek in their students that are not reflected in grades. They can be demonstrated in a recommendation letter by a teacher or tutor showing student dedication, determination and progress.

Parents can play an instrumental role in developing these important success survival skills. Parents may help their college-bound kids hone the top soft skills shows how.

Read Suzanne’s post: Choosing Courses to Impress Colleges

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Tonight is Wednesday’s Parent night (the fourth Wednesday of each month) on #CampusChat, Wednesday, September 24, 9pm ET/6pm PT. We will talk with Nicole Lentine @nlentine about choosing high school classes and college admissions. Nicole is an Admissions Counselor at and alumna of Champlain College. She is Co-Host of Admissions Live, a twice-monthly webshow on the #HigherEdLive network. Please join us and bring your questions and comments.

RECAP: Read this transcript because the tips and tweets were flying fast on this memorable ——> #CampusChat Recap 9-24: Choosing High School Courses with our guest Nicole Lentine, Admissions Counselor at Champlain College and other expert contributors, parents and students.

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Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from www.pocsmom.com to http://www.parentscountdowntocollegecoach.com/ and vice versa.

Wednesday’s Parent: Best question for parents to ask to help with college essays

Parents can help students crack college essay writer's block

Parents can help students crack college essay writer’s block

The single best question parents can ask themselves to best help their teens write a college or scholarship application essay is:

Who’s going to that college?

The answer puts into perspective two vital points in composing a killer essay:

  • It’s all about the college-bound
  • And how the college-bound will be an asset to a particular campus

It comes down to what the student offers and wants. To find out, he/she has to do a lot of thinking about his strengths, weaknesses, talents, abilities, interests and desires. Then he has to figure out which colleges will best help him achieve his short and long term goals. Finally, she has to write essays that along with her application convince the schools they want her to attend and/or provide financial awards.

College is a huge investment that pays off big time. For grads it means a better life style via more money earned over a career. Read this to find out how much more. Parents get an unexpected bonus, too. They live longer with healthier lives. Read this to find out how much longer.

Parents can’t expect their child to do their best if he or she is not vested in the college process from application through graduation. So it makes sense for parents to focus their energy on helping their college-bound student get motivated. For general tips read this and this.

To motivate to compose essays often means cracking the hard shell covering known as writer’s block. Writing doesn’t always come easy and many drafts are typical. That’s why it is best to start early when the clock isn’t ticking moments away before deadlines.

The essay is an opportunity to show student strength, maturity and growth and is best written from a position of leadership. Staring at a blank page isn’t fun for anyone so here are six ways for parents to help their college-bound write a super essay:

  1. Creativity is stifled by stress. Give your child time and space to think without pressure.
  2. Distractions impede focus. Provide an organized and quiet place for your child to write.
  3. Unsolicited and unappreciated advice isn’t helpful. Let your child know you are ready to listen and brainstorm should he suffer from writer’s block.
  4. Self-esteem is lowered from being overshadowed. Don’t make it a competition by over-relating your own past history of accomplishments, mistakes or desires.
  5. Over-confidence doesn’t help either. Constant reminders of past glories are more like bragging than inspiring compliments.
  6. A good support team can provide confidence. Let your child know you are available to help but so are teachers, guidance counselors and other admission counselors.

Then sit back, keep repeating the above question, and wait for your child to take the lead when she is ready to own the college process and do what it takes to get in and earn a diploma. He may even let you read his finished essay.

Read Suzanne’s Top 5 Essay Posts for Parents

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Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

The bonus is on the fourth Wednesday of each month when Suzanne and I will host Twitter chat #CampusChat at 9pm ET/6pm PT. We will feature an expert on a topic of interest for parents of the college-bound. 

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from www.pocsmom.com to http://www.parentscountdowntocollegecoach.com/ and vice versa.