Top 10 Stories of the Month: August 2020 Edition

Blog August 28, 2020

This month there has been a lot of unknowns surrounding higher education. Many colleges are unsure what challenges they might face as they kick off the Fall 2020 semester. Change is always hard, but we are here to support you and your students as you navigate these difficult times and support their journey to graduation. Stay updated on news surrounding enrollment updates, effects of the pandemic on higher education, and how you can support your students during these turbulent times.


1. New Reports Will Focus On Pandemic’s Impact on College Student Transfers 

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The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center will be creating a new research report series that will focus on tracking student transfers and mobility to measure the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on higher education. The transfer data will be available online for free, which the research center hopes will encourage colleges to use this data to improve how they serve their students. 


2. Discrimination Against Colleges Serving Minorities? 

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As Congress is making decisions regarding how the CARES Act funds will be distributed, many advocacy groups believe that this process is shortchanging institutions that educate students of color. They believe that this method doesn’t recognize students at community colleges, who are more likely to be low income or minorities, are more likely to enroll part-time due to the lack of child care, and are needing to take on more work due to the pandemic.


3. DACA Student Advocates Worry Amid New Restrictions to the Program 

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As undocumented students prepare to fill out their first applications for DACA, many students are having to face the new restrictions that have come on the heels of the US Supreme Court denial of the Trump administration’s efforts to end the DACA program. Students have been seeking guidance from their counselors in this uncertain time due both to the pandemic and changes in the application process. 


4. Nervous Freshmen, Nervous Colleges 

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In a recent survey released by SimpsonScarborough, 40% of incoming college freshmen have reported that they are likely not to attend a four-year institution, and 20% of current students will most likely not return to their college. One of the largest issues reported is that students feel that they can’t trust their college.


5. Prison education adapts to pandemic challenges

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The pandemic has not only posed a challenge to higher education as a whole, but even more so for community colleges that provide educational opportunities to correctional facility inmates. As most prisons do not allow inmates access to the internet, many colleges have had to find alternative options so they are able to serve these students. 


6. How The Coronavirus Has Upended College Admissions

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The college admissions process is stressful for all students who choose to apply to college. This year has presented even more challenges as students are choosing where to apply and colleges are choosing who to admit. Many colleges have made standardized testing optional, which has left colleges to decide what other metrics to use in its place. 


7. Washington Watch: Community colleges emphasize need for new stimulus 

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The American Association of Community Colleges and 46 community college state systems recently drafted a letter to the Senate and the House urging them to consider a supplemental appropriations bill to support them in the wake of the pandemic. With state and local government support declining rapidly,  this has caused extreme challenges on all community college campuses. 


8. New CARES-funded grant program for colleges 

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Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Education announced that colleges with the greatest need for support related to the pandemic will receive a grant that can be used for various purposes such as distance learning and disease prevention. Proposals will receive additional consideration if they are led by or partnered with HBCU, tribal colleges, and minority-serving institutions. 


9. Here’s what community college students want to know about the coming year

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California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley sat down with four current California community college students to discuss what the upcoming year would hold for students. Some of the biggest themes that were discussed were the need for funding in order to meet students’ needs as well as the fact that students should voice their concerns with their local administration. 


10. 5 ways COVID-19 will change higher education forever, and how colleges can adapt 

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This year has been full of constant change and transformation. While the pandemic has definitely affected some areas of higher education, it hasn’t affected all of them. These are some areas of higher education that might be due for a makeover.


A man looking through binoculars with the Facebook logo over both eyes, just showing that everywhere you look, social media marketing is there! Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash
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