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Scannell & Kurz Enrollment Management Blog

Admissions Web Design: Keeping Up With Mobile Users - Monday Musings
We have known for some time that responsive web design, design that seeks to optimize the viewing experience for users, was going to be particularly important for college sites as more and more students and parents began to access the web on mobile devices. Most agree that having a site optimized for mobile viewing has been necessary for some time, but the most recent Noel-Levitz E-Expectations Report leaves no room for doubt. Among respondents to the most recent survey, 90% of high school seniors had access to a mobile device, and 71% of seniors have looked at a college site on a mobile device. While the study also found that more than 85% of seniors and parents prefer to view college sites on a desktop computer, this does not diminish the…Read more

Sticker Price in a Net Price Calculator World - Monday Musings
As a former financial aid professional I conducted dozens of financial aid nights at local high schools to assist families in completing the FAFSA. I wish I had a nickel for each time I uttered the phrase “don’t rule out a college based on cost alone. You would be surprised at how affordable a private college may be.” One would think that the opportunity to find out an estimated net price, now that colleges and universities are beginning the fourth year of the required net price calculator (NPC), would be enough to cause students and families to do a little more homework before ruling out a school based on cost. Maybe it’s lack of consistency – the fact that there are numerous types of NPCs may turn people off. Some institutions using…Read more

Students’ Perceptions of Financial Aid: A Follow Up - Monday Musings
In June, we had a post in this blog that talked about a RuffaloCODY/Scannell & Kurz survey that found that many rising high school seniors relied heavily on their school counselors for information on college financial aid. When students were asked where they had gotten information on financial aid, only college websites (with 40% of students citing them as a source) ranked higher than high school counselors (33%) as a source of information. We conducted a follow-up to this survey in late spring, reaching out to 850 of these same seniors who had agreed to be contacted again at the end of their college search process. Of all of the findings, perhaps the most surprising was the change in responses to the question of the importance students assigned…Read more

Review of Documentary "Ivory Tower" - Monday Musings
During the Aligning Experts conference in Chicago, a sneak preview was held of the documentary Ivory Tower. A quick-take review concludes that the movie generally sensationalized a number of topics and spent too much time focusing on outlier institutions. Allow me to explain: The opening spent significant time discussing Harvard. The mainstream media love to write and talk about the Ivies; however, that’s not the reality of higher education for 99% of students and families. There was also significant time devoted to Cooper Union and the school’s recent decision to begin charging tuition, which sparked campus protests and the occupation of the president’s office for about 2 months. Again, what percentage of the college-going population…Read more

Tuition Remission and the Discount Rate - Monday Musings
As many of you know, the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) calculates discount rates by taking all institutional aid including athletic aid (whether from unfunded sources, endowment, or annual gifts) and dividing by tuition and mandatory fee revenues. However, tuition remission for the dependents of faculty and staff is NOT included as institutional aid because NACUBO considers such funds to be an employee benefit and therefore a human resource cost. While we agree that treatment of tuition remission makes sense, it can produce some strange results, particularly at small institutions. Taken to its extreme, if the entire freshman class at an institution was comprised of faculty/staff dependents receiving…Read more