Posts published in June, 2016
Preparing for ‘Era of Data Ubiquity’
As a sequel to a 2014 event regarding student data collection, researchers from more than 12 colleges and universities recently met to discuss the ethical use of student data and how this data could be utilized to improve higher education. (Inside Higher Ed, June 28) via ECS
BY STEPHANIE SAUL, NEW YORK TIMES
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — “Hurry Up!!!,” the online posting said. “Spot Admissions” to Western Kentucky University. Scholarships of up to $17,000 were available, it added. “Letter in one day.” The offer, by a college recruiter based in India, was part of a campaign so enticing that more than 300 students swiftly applied to a college that many had probably never heard of.
More than 8,000 miles away, at Western Kentucky, professors were taken by surprise when they learned last fall of the aggressive recruitment effort, sponsored by their international enrollment office. Word began to spread here on campus that a potential flood of graduate students would arrive in the spring 2016 semester.
The problem — or one of them — was that many of the students did not meet the university’s standards, faculty members said, and administrators acknowledged.
Western Kentucky’s deal with the recruiting company, Global Tree Overseas Education Consultants, is a type of arrangement that is becoming more common as a thriving international educational consultancy industry casts a wide net in India and other countries, luring international students to United States colleges struggling to fill seats. The university agreed to pay Global Tree a commission of 15 percent of the first year’s tuition of students who enrolled, or about $2,000 per student.
But as colleges increasingly rely on these international recruiters, educators worry that students may be victimized by high-pressure sales tactics, and that universities are trading away academic standards by recruiting less qualified students who pay higher tuition.
“There are some incentives for not delivering complete clunkers, but the underlying motivation for both the university and the agent is to get warm bodies in the door,” said Philip G. Altbach, the founding director of the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College.
At Western Kentucky, 106 of 132 students admitted through the recruitment effort scored below the university’s requirement on an English skills test, according to a resolution adopted last fall by the graduate faculty council, which raised questions about the program. “The vast majority either didn’t have any scores or there wasn’t documentation of their language skills,” said Barbara Burch, a faculty member of the university’s Board of Regents.
The university senate and the student government association also expressed concerns. “It is ethically wrong to bring students to the university and let them believe they can be successful when we have nothing in place to make sure they’re successful,” the student association president, Jay Todd Richey, said.
With about 1,400 international students and a little more than 20,000 students over all, Western Kentucky, the state’s third largest public university, has been at the forefront of efforts by universities across the country to increase foreign enrollment. Its slogan is “A leading American university with international reach.”
Administrators say the India Pilot Project, as the recruitment effort is known here, is an experiment to increase enrollment and to diversify the international student body, and fits in with a previously announced plan to double international enrollment.
They also say the students — 57 of whom enrolled in January — were admitted conditionally and have been placed in remedial classes to help them adjust.
“International is good, but it’s not always easy,” Dr. Gary Ransdell, the university’s president, said in an interview. “It can’t be business as usual. We’re learning that. There are growing pains.”
An advertisement by Global Tree Overseas Education Consultants, a recruiting company.
Global Tree’s director, Subhakar Alapati, also acknowledged that the program had glitches, saying in a telephone interview, “A problem with the students has arisen because the education system in India is more theoretical than practical.”
Dr. Ransdell said the university decided to recruit international students years ago to expose local students to global cultures. But recently, he said, the effort has become more of an economic necessity, partly because of drastic state funding cuts for higher education — a pattern seen across the country.
To combat these cuts, colleges began to look at foreign students, who pay full tuition, as their financial salvation. And although federal law prohibits them from using recruiters in the United States who are paid based on the number of students they enroll, the law does not ban the use of such recruiters abroad.
Concerned about the potential for recruiting abuses, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, or Nacac, put out a draft policy in 2011 imposing a similar ban abroad.
“The use of agents who are compensated in the form of bonus, commission or other incentive payment on the basis of the number of students recruited or enrolled creates an environment in which misrepresentation and conflicts of interests are unavoidable,” the draft said.
But the organization never imposed the policy because of pressure from its members. Since that decision in 2013, the use of international recruiters has increased, said Eddie West, the director of international initiatives for the organization. “Anecdotally and through surveys, we can tell there’s been an uptick in that type of recruitment,” Mr. West said.
A major criticism of the recruiters is that their sales tactics can pressure students by creating a sense of urgency.
Other international recruiting companies are also offering so-called “spot admission” or “spot assessment” to a variety of United States universities. One is Study Metro, in Bangalore, India, which posted notices on Facebook offering quick admission, seemingly to the University of Oklahoma, along with fast turnarounds on a document called the I-20, required to obtain a visa.
“Dear Students, Study Metro invites you with open arms to make avail of the spot admission and I20 program on 31st Jan 2016,” it adds. “Don’t miss the opportunity to fulfill your aspiring dream of studying in USA. Call now for FREE registration. First comes First served.”
Abhishek Bajaj, the managing director of Study Metro, said his company’s reference to the University of Oklahoma was an error. Its client, he said, is the University of Central Oklahoma.
He defended the urgent tone of the posting, saying that university representatives were in his office that day. “The urgency is to tell them this is a golden opportunity to meet,” Mr. Bajaj said.
Global Tree, the company working with Western Kentucky, also recently offered on Facebook “spot assessment” to “world top” Purdue University, with a notice saying, “Low Scores, Don’t Worry.” The smaller print reveals that the ad is for Purdue University Calumet, in Hammond, Ind., about 100 miles from the flagship campus in West Lafayette.
After being notified about the Facebook posting, a spokesman for Purdue Calumet said the university was reviewing its relationship with Global Tree, calling the message “unfortunate and disconcerting.”
BY VICTORIA KLOCHKOVA
Being a student is always difficult, but with the development of science, your campus life becomes not only easier but also more productive. There are many mobile technologies which can help to save time and speed the work. And also there is an opportunity to use your time profitably even on the way to university or back home. It’s amazing, isn’t it?
Smartphones and various gadgets can become the real helpers in your study when they are properly used. There are various tools to help you in planning ‘to-do’ list, learning a new language, improving your knowledge in any field, making presentations in public transport, and other technical miracles. The main thing is to use mobile technologies wisely and profitably. How to do it? Check out the following list.
7 mobile tools which will make your study more effectively
- E-mail.It is common service for the exchange of texts and different files between users. It is possible to organize the communication between students and tutors, to work on group projects with the help of e-mail. By using this technology, you can to take control if any problem with your study occurs. Have you gone to your grandmother in the village and forgotten to pass the report to a lecturer? Mobile mail will solve your problem.
- Podcasts. It is modern internet technology, which allows students finding, listening, viewing featured podcasts as well as recording and publishing own personal podcast. There are many educational and non-academic podcasts that can be used for the development of your listening skills. There are also services that allow posting podcasts and organizing a discussion in the microblogs or forums. In such a way, it is possible to develop speaking and listening skills, as well as create sociocultural competence of students.
- Electronic dictionaries and libraries.On the basis of electronic dictionaries, it is possible to organize research work, to develop an own cognitive activity, learning skills in collaboration, etc. Such services allow making your academic paper more interesting. For instance, you can add brilliant quotes from movies using Showbox. You able to tap special websites or download applications on mobile devices.
- Voice control.Today a lot of students solve everyday problems on the go from their phone. They use it to check email, send documents and photos, find the nearest ATM or build a road route. Not all of these problems can be solved using a keyboard, so now one of the most pressing areas of mobile development is a voice command. The voice control is based on speech recognition technology. It involves achieving various fields: from computational linguistics to the digital signal processing. Are you have no time to write an essay at home? Use your voice and do it while you have an evening walk.
- Clouds, clouds – gigabyte sites!If you’re tired of running around between university and home with the USB flash drive, taking everywhere you go a laptop with the necessary files, and you aspire your important files to become available to you or your group mates from any computer or mobile device, you may think about cloud storage. This technology allows you getting easy access to your data from mobile devices, increasing the level of data security, starting automatic synchronization of information between different computers and devices, providing someone with general or limited access to files, etc.
- Live-chat messenger. You can use Skype, WhatsApp, Viber, and other applicationsto be always online. The function of file transfer through such software allows students and professors exchanging files, free calls, and video chats. Also, it is possible to organize group chat and work together on your project no matter where you are. Only good Internet connection is needed.
- Special resources on the Internet.They include network encyclopedia, online media, directories, virtual tours on museums, theaters, galleries, cities, etc. Information and help resources have the following common didactic characteristics: multimedia, accessibility, hypertext structure. On this basis, students can study and organize research work, develop their cognitive activity, improve skills in collaboration, as well as the ability to self-learning activities.
Use mobile technologies for self-development, not only for senseless surf. In a short time, you will see how productive your study is. Just remember that all these ‘miracles’ are in your hands!
About the author:
Victoria is a passionate entrepreneur and marketer. She runs a digital agency and writes for several blogs on the web. She loves sharing knowledge about innovation and technology
BY TAYLOR TOMITA
After graduating high school, many students around the globe are faced with the age-old question: what is the best college for me? Of course, there is a lot that goes into this search – many people call it the “college path”. Determining which colleges offer the necessary courses for your major, applying for financial aid, applying for various colleges, and many students go as far as to visit the college to get a first-hand look at the university lifestyle.
However, this research is important, because a recent study has shown that the average cost of in-state tuition was $19,548 in 2015. As these numbers are on the rise, it is vital to be fully prepared before diving into the college world. With this in mind, I wanted to share three questions you should ask before choosing which university to attend.
What is Your Learning Style?
This question should always be asked when wanting to learn new skills, as it may determine whether or not your education will pay off. Of course, acquiring a college education is better than nothing, but finding which college will mesh with your learning style can push you over the top. For example, many teaching professionals are utilizing a new way of teaching called “Gamification” which has shown to harbor rather positive results among students, especially in the largely technologically-driven era in which we live.
Should You Attend a Small or Large University?
The answer to this question may boil down to personal preferences, but it is important to investigate the differences between large and small universities. Small universities often have a much more intimate learning environment where students and professors tend to be much more intertwined. Whereas, larger universities have a much more robust environment, and can offer more courses that will fit the degree you seek. It is important to understand that it is completely normal for a student to study their general courses at a smaller university, and then transfer to a larger university to finish out the course of their degree.
What is Your Endgame?
This is perhaps the most important question to ask when preparing to dive into the college realm. What is your endgame? This question may not be fully answered until you are a few years deep into acquiring your degree, but this question should always be in the front of your mind. Think specifics. What exactly do you hope to gain from your education? What career path are you aspiring to follow? What does this career path require? Answering these questions throughout the course of your college education will help you sail through your education without having to backtrack to take additional courses that may have been missed before.
Thank you for reading. What questions do you have surrounding this topic? Find me on Twitter (@trvshlvrd_rr), let’s chat about it!
Author Bio: Taylor Tomita is a creative writer residing in Boise, Idaho, focusing on various angles of education and business. When Taylor is not writing you can find Taylor touring in the band Stepbrothers, or hanging out at home with his cat. Follow him on Twitter!
BY JANE HURST
Gone are the days when grads and college students have to work at fast food joints just to make a few bucks. Today, there are so many different and exciting opportunities for students, and these opportunities can be in just about any part of the world. In the US alone, there are thousands of great internships and programs for grads and students that will help to further them in their career choices. Here are some of our top internship picks.
- NASA Internships – High school students, juniors through graduate level, are invited to apply for NASA internships. These are available to high school students who are attending full-time accredited programs that are appropriate to NASA internships. All applicants must be US citizens, and major in several majors, from business to science and engineering. There are also non-technical internships available.
- Art Returns Internship, Marvel Entertainment – This program is for college students, freshmen to seniors. It is available to students who are involved in full-time studies, and applicants must be proficient in Word and Excel in order to qualify for acceptance. Intern duties include filing and mailing paperwork, which is part of the process of organizing and processing Marvel artwork.
- Doctors without Borders Press Internship – Here is an internship for sophomore and graduate students. You will be working closely with the Press Officer and Communications Assistant. Duties will include daily research support, as well as meeting the needs of various projects as you are required. This is a great opportunity for students who are into public relations, journalism, or humanitarian aid. If the internship requires a lot of traveling, you will never get homesick, because you can always use VPN for Netflix in order to keep in touch.
- New Mexico Pets ALIVE Dog Program Associate Internship – If you are a dog lover, this may be just the internship for you. You need to have an academic or professional background in this business, or have an entrepreneurial spirit that will let you quickly embrace guidance and direction needed for this work. This is a job that requires you to get your hands dirty, and you could also be involved in fundraising.
- Paramount Pictures Corporation Undergraduate Internship – Juniors and seniors may apply for this internship, and work in the entertainment industry. You will be able to work with professionals in the industry, and learn what it takes to create great productions. You will also attend many events that will help to increase your knowledge about the entertainment industry.
- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Internship – Sophomore and fifth year graduate students can apply for this internship, which is only available to students who are currently enrolled in full-time studies. To apply, please submit a resume with a cover letter, as well as a letter of reference or a recommendation from a professor who specializes in your field.
- Summer Wildlife Intern, Wildcare Inc. – All college students may apply for the Summer Wildlife internship. You need to have an interest in the care and treatment of injured/orphaned wildlife, and be able to work at least 20 hours per week from May until August. This is an unpaid internship.
- Disney College Program Internship – Any student who is enrolled in an accredited college or university is eligible to apply for this internship, as long as they have completed one full semester. All applicants must be 18 years of age or older to be eligible. Intern duties will include such things as guest research and relations, custodial duties, working at attractions, parking lot cashier, PhotoPass photographer, resort transportation, parking, ticket-taking, hopper, and main entrance operations.
Jane Hurst has been working in education for over 5 years as a teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, is fascinated about edtech and loves reading, a lot. Follow Jane on Twitter!
Do Students Benefit from Going Backward? The Academic and Labor Market Consequences of Four- to Two-Year College Transfer. By Vivienne Yuen Ting Liu. Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment, Columbia University.
“About 16% of students who begin in a four-year college transfer to a two-year college within six years … this paper examines the effects of 4–2 transfer on ‘struggling’ students, those who earned less than a 3.0 grade point average in the first term. Results indicate that these 4–2 transfer students are more likely than similar non-transfer students to attain two-year college credentials (including associate degrees and long- and short-term certificates); the gain is concentrated in women who tend to enroll in health-related programs. What is more, struggling students who transfer to two-year colleges are no less likely than struggling non-transfer students to earn a bachelor’s degree.… The findings indicate that 4–2 transfer can improve college completion for students struggling in four-year institutions.”
This Indicators of Higher Education Equity: 2016 Historical Trend Report (2016 Indicators Report) is dedicated to Arnold Mitchem and Tom Mortenson. Without the very different work of these two individuals, the report would not have been possible. Both have dedicated their work lives to creating greater equity in educational opportunity in the United States. By producing this volume and continuing the Search for Solutions-Shared Dialogues, we honor the legacy of their work and the seeds they have sown for increasing equity
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BY Robert Parmer
College students usually get a bad rap when it comes to cooking meals for themselves. Horror stories of coffee pot ramen, and mac and cheese for dinner all week stand out and paint a narrative that represents a lack of this basic human skill.
The following tips will help you break the mold that college students can’t take care of their basic need to eat. These skills are important, so why not learn them now if you haven’t yet? They’ll be with you the rest of your life!
Read A “Cookbook”
Life after high school graduation can be strange for students living on their own for the first time. A foundational piece of the college puzzle is learning how to keep yourself properly nourished. Minimal cooking experience and less than ideal food budgets can get in the way of this basic endeavor. Even if you have little to no cooking experience, there is still hope!
A great starting point is either some cookbooks from a friend or family member. While this seems old school, many dated cookbooks offer very straightforward instructions and explanations. If this isn’t possible for you, or you’d rather start with a modern version of a cookbook, check out cooking websites like Student Recipes. These types of sites are filled with instructional pieces and uncomplicated recipes.
Find recipes that focus on simple, easy to prepare meals that college student’s budgets and stomachs can agree with.
Make Sure you Have the Basic Essentials
Cooking is a lot easier when you have the right tools. So get a solid set of pots, pans, and cooking utensils. This should include a sharp knife that feels comfortable in your hand and large cutting board. Stray away from cutting boards made from wood or bamboo as they harbor bacteria. Food safety affects everyone, so be sure to always keep your surfaces and utensils clean. Use large plastic cutting boards and delegate one as ‘meat only’ to avoid cross contamination.
These overlooked but fundamentally necessary items are oftentimes lacking in dorms and first apartments. And so is cleanliness. If you can’t afford to buy the supplies you need, specific kitchen items are great things to add to Christmas or Birthday lists. You’re family will be happy to buy you things with such a practical purpose.
And Invest in Some Kitchen Gadgets
These things will all ultimately make your life easier and make you seem well versed in kitchen tech. Blenders and food processors are great for making smoothies and sauces, and finely chopping foods. Many recipes that focus more on making things ‘from scratch’ involve either a food processor or blender.
A spiralizer is a handy tool that lets you turn fruits and vegetables into different sized noodles. The spiralizer is a gateway to clean eating habits! This is a great way to get more produce into your diet in a simple yet unique way.
Consider using a toaster oven instead of a microwave. They might take a little big longer but the quality of food out of a toaster oven is tenfold. Not to mention, microwaves and related processed foods are linked to several types of cancer. So while you learn to cook, it’s important to avoid techniques and foods that are unhealthy on a long term basis. This is what’s known as preventative care; habits that will keep you healthy your entire life!
But Seriously..Step Away From the Microwave!
Since they’ve became a staple item in home use in the late 1960’s, microwave ovens have shifted from a luxury item to a common and oftentimes overused appliance.
Although there are some practical uses for microwaves, they are generally a quicker, less healthy way of cooking food than on a stove or in a traditional oven. Microwaving full meals on the regular gets you caught in a cycle of potentially damaging meal choices and preparation methods.
Reheat meals for short amounts of time. When you reheat food in the microwave, do so in 30 second increments. That way you won’t nuke your food to the point of being beyond recognition.
Cooking Doesn’t Have to Be Stressful
It’s common for people to get overwhelmed and stressed out while learning how to cook. A great way to alleviate this is to start with simplicity and work your way to more complex recipes and cooking techniques.
Start with what you know, and branch out. And if you notice that you’re constantly feeling high strung, consider eating and cooking with stress relieving foods on the regular.
Practice Makes Perfect
Like most intricate skills, the more you practice cooking, the better you’ll get over time. Luckily, we all have to eat. And cooking for yourself saves a lot of money for a less than bountiful college budget.
I’ve worked in a multitude of restaurants, everything from counter food to fine dining. Probably the most memorable takeaway from the kitchen life for me is that anyone with the genuine desire to succeed at cooking a delicious meal, certainly has the capacity to do so. I’ve watched dishwashers become world class cooks. Sure, you’ve gotta burn a few things on accident and make a few newbie mistakes in the process, but the cliche is true here: practice makes perfect!
Robert Parmer is a freelance web writer and student of Boise State University. Oustside of writing whenever he has spare time, Robert enjoys creating and recording music, caring for his pet cat, and commuting by bicycle whenever possible. Follow him on Twitter @robparmer
BY RICK RIDDLE
I wasn’t a great student. At every parent-teacher conference, my parents heard the same thing – “She’s a solid average student, and there’s nothing wrong with that.” Really? To say that to my parents, both with graduate degrees and movers and shakers in their professions, was like a death sentence. I am sure my mother was hoping that I would be able to find some really rich man to marry, so I would be well taken care of in my “averageness.” And all the while, my two brothers were “setting the world on fire” – one in medical school, and the other on the Dean’s list every semester. All of this “did a number” on me, and I just accepted the fact that community college was probably my limit. Perhaps I could get a decent job with an Associate’s Degree
Whether we hear it from others or somehow develop the idea that there is only so far we can go in life, many of us carry that baggage around with us and let it define who we are and what we are capable of. We get into a box, and there we stay. It’s pretty comfortable, actually. Until the passion and desire hits. And when it does, we don’t know what to do with it. We find something that excites us, something we want to do for our life’s work. We need to move to a new level, but all of that baggage is hanging on for dear life.
For me, the passion hit when I enrolled in an English comp class in that average community college for average students like myself. The instructor was amazing and wrote notes on all of those essays I wrote. I was creative, he said; I had a unique tone and voice, he said; I had real talent, he said; I just needed polish. This was, quite literally, the first time any teacher had seen something more than average in me. Wow. Could I actually pursue writing as a career? Nah. And all of those limiting thoughts flooded back in. Fortunately, this instructor did not give up. He insisted that I enroll in English Comp II, even though it wasn’t required, and I did.
It took two full years to get rid of my self-imposed limitations, but I am living proof that it can be done. Here are seven things we do to ourselves to limit our potential, how to go to war with them, and how to win.
- We Compare Ourselves to Successful Others
Growing up in a household of achievers in STEM fields, it was pretty easy to feel inferior. I never thought about success in some other field, because the comparisons with the successful people I knew were just too discouraging.
Even in the field of writing, which I ultimately chose for a career, there were these great and wonderful writers out there with skills and talents so far beyond mine. What was the use? Of course, that was ridiculous thinking.
Here’s the thing: There will always be those better than you; there will always be those not as good as you. That’s a reality. The only thing that really matters is to compare yourself today with yourself yesterday, or last week, or last year. You’re better than you were, and you have no way to know how great you really will get. That’s an astounding realization. There really are no limits.
- We Procrastinate, Insisting We are Not Ready
So when will you be ready? When that English instructor suggested that I pursue some freelance writing gigs, my first response was absolutely not – it was too soon. So, he introduced me to another student who was already doing this. He was a bit over loaded with writing at the time and asked me to write two blog posts for him.
So nervous, but excited too. I spent every waking hour of the next three days writing two 500-word blog posts. Looking back, it’s laughable. But it was the one thing that got me moving.
If you are procrastinating, take one small step – just one. Are you dreaming of starting your own business? Get online and do some research about entrepreneurship – there’s loads of information out there, and when you read others’ stories, you get excited and motivated to get moving. One step will lead to another.
- We Fail to Widen our Career/Social Circle
This is one of the most limiting things we do to ourselves. If you want to be an entrepreneur, you have to hang out with other entrepreneurs; if you want to be a musician, you have to hang out with musicians. If you stay in your current circles, you won’t grow. And, in your current circles, there are those who may be reminding of that old baggage you are gradually shedding.
Find where others hang out on and offline and go there. Join a related group or organization. Just being in their presence will help you remove those limitations you have imposed. If they can do this, so can you. Stay in the company of like-minded people.
- We Don’t Ask for Help
There is that thought within us that somehow asking for help is a sign of inability or weakness. In reality, there are very few, if any, successful people who have not had some form of help along the way. I had “built-in” help. Most people don’t.
It may be very difficult for you to overcome the hesitancy to ask for help. Here is a way around that. If you have widened those circles of acquaintances and friends in your niche, then you are obviously in discussions with them. Perhaps you attend a monthly meeting of a network group; maybe you have joined some online groups. You can bring up topics about which you feel “uneducated” or incapable right now and listen to the discussions. If you have an online association, you will also find that it is far easier requesting help through email, messaging, or Skype, than it may be face-to-face. And, many times, people will simply offer to help you without your even requesting.
Take all of the help you can get. You’re not taking it because you are limited; you are taking it because you’re smart.
- We Take a “No” as Permanent
J.K. Rowling is happy to tell her story of how she was told “no” by over 200 publishers before she finally got one to say “yes” to her first Harry Potter novel. She could have limited herself by taking the 198th “no” as the final and permanent one. She would still be a secretary today.
Choose to interpret a “no” as Rowling did. It really means “not right now” or “not just yet.” Refusing to accept a limitation, and adopting patience and persistence instead will pay off. It is one of the biggest factors of success.
- We Accept Other People’s Versions of Success
How we define success is pretty critical to getting rid of our limitations. Here’s how this works. In my family, getting great grades, going on to a prestigious school, and entering a highly respected profession was the definition of success. I lived with that definition growing up, and when it wasn’t for me, I set up big limitations – only capable of an Associate’s Degree and a mundane job that would get me by; never being a career professional of any sort; always feeling like a failure in the eyes of others. These were totally self-imposed and totally false.
Define success for yourself. It may not be lots of shiny eye candy; it may not be those letters before or after your name (Dr., Ph.D., etc.). It should be doing what you love – that’s where freedom lies.
- We Fear Failure
When we are afraid to fail, we “play small.” We take no chances; we stay in our boxes and comfort zones; and we reinforce all of those limiting thoughts that we have always had about ourselves. Most life and business coaches say the same tired thing. We learn from our failures. That’s good advice, but it’s meaningless if the fear is still there.
To push that fear into the background, here is a great exercise. Suppose you really want to follow your passion, but you know you could fail. Get out a piece of paper and write down everything that could happen if you fail. You may lose money; you may face criticism from some; you may be unhappy for a time; and you may even have to take a job you really don’t like much, at least while you re-group.
Now ask yourself these questions: Is the Earth still rotating on its axis? Are you still alive and breathing? Will there be a sunrise tomorrow? Are your body parts all still working well? It sounds like life and the world are still going to go on, despite your failure. When you can get things in perspective, you can dump the fear and be willing to try again.
My story has a happy ending. I love what I do, and there aren’t any real thoughts of limitations any more. It’s liberating. Think about these seven limitations. Are there any you are still holding on to? If so, you have some work to do, but the rewards are amazing.
Rick Riddle is an up-and-coming blogger whose articles can help you with self-development, entrepreneurship and digital marketing. Follow Rick on twitter and LinkedIn.
Tuition discount rates keep climbing to previously unseen levels at private colleges and universities, leaving institutions caught between the need to enroll highly price-conscious students and the squeeze discounting places on the amount of money they end up netting.
The average institutional tuition discount rate rose to an estimated 48.6 percent for first-time, full-time freshmen in 2015-16, according to a report released today by the National Association of College and University Business Officers. The rate, which represents the portion of total tuition and fee revenue channeled back to students as grant-based financial aid, was up from 47.1 percent the previous year. Discount rates also increased when all undergraduates were measured, rising to 42.5 percent from 41.3 percent.
That means private institutions piped nearly half of every dollar charged in tuition and fees back into scholarships and grants for freshmen. Counting all students, they routed more than 42 cents of every dollar into financial aid. Both numbers are all-time highs. The number also means private colleges and universities relied on steep discounts to attract students or make themselves affordable.
Discount rates have been marching steadily higher since 2008-9, when large swaths of family wealth evaporated during the financial crisis and Great Recession. Discount rates averaged 39.9 percent for freshmen and 36.9 percent for all undergraduates in 2008-9.
The popular theory is that the recession caused a break in the way families view finances and tuition. Students and parents with less cash on hand became more price conscious. They also became increasingly willing to shop between pricier private institutions and lower-cost options like state universities and other alternative programs.
Still, discount rates were ticking up even before the recession — they stood at 38.1 percent for freshmen and 34.3 percent for all undergraduates in 2004-5.
Regardless of the reason behind the rising discount rates, they’ve contributed to a landscape where many colleges and universities feel the squeeze. Net tuition revenue growth estimates averaged 1.2 percent for freshmen in 2015-16, flattening slightly from 2.1 percent a year earlier. Net tuition revenue growth across all undergraduates averaged an estimated 1.8 percent in 2015-16, about even with 1.7 percent the year before. Net revenue increases weren’t enough to keep pace with the rate of inflation as measured by the Higher Education Price Index, which was 2.1 percent in 2015.
At the same time, many private institutions have experienced declining enrollments. In the new report, 37.5 percent of institutions reported enrollments declined in both their freshman classes and across their entire undergraduate bodies from 2014 to 2015. More than half of institutions, 51.2 percent, reported a decrease in total undergraduate enrollment, and 53.5 percent said freshman enrollment dropped.
The trends have universities asking questions about their strategy going forward, said Ken Redd, director of research and analysis at NACUBO.
“There’s a real emphasis among our chief business officers and other campus leaders to preserving, to the extent they can, affordability,” Redd said. “There’s a big price that campuses are paying for that. With the net tuition revenue essentially, in real terms, being flat for the last couple of years, it really does mean that institutions have to start thinking about other ways of helping to preserve the emphasis on affordability.”
Open questions include whether current levels of discounting are sustainable, what strategies should be used to take on enrollment declines and, notably, whether private colleges will have to turn to cutting listed tuition and fee prices.
NACUBO asked chief business officers to share strategies they used in the 2015 fiscal year to raise net tuition revenue in 2015. Student recruitment and retention made up the top strategy, used by 27.7 percent of institutions. Financial aid strategies followed at 26.7 percent, tailed closely by tuition pricing strategies at 24.2 percent. Changes or additions to academic programs were only cited by 4.7 percent.
“For many schools, just raising the discount rate is not by itself a way of solving enrollment or revenue issues,” Redd said. “A number of schools seem to be trying different strategies. It’s too early in the process to know how those strategies will work.”
Meanwhile, institutions clearly felt they were losing enrollment because of prices. Among survey respondents that experienced freshman enrollment declines between 2012-13 and 2015-16, a whopping 62 percent said they believed students’ price sensitivity was a factor. Price sensitivity was the top reason cited, followed by increased competition at 60 percent, changing demographics at 51 percent, a decrease in the number of 18- to 24-year-olds in a region at 40 percent and a decrease in yield rates at 39 percent. Farther down, 19 percent of institutions said they lost freshmen because they became more selective.
Colleges and universities are going to have to become more sophisticated in their pricing, said Rick Beyer, a former president of Wheeling Jesuit University and a consultant who is the managing principal of AGB Institutional Strategies.