Scannell & Kurz Enrollment Management Blog

While Scannell & Kurz continues to provide the expert consulting and high level of service by which we define ourselves, as a division of Ruffalo Noel Levitz we also offer the benefits of our collaboration with a larger team of talented consultants.

Part of that collaboration involves our enrollment blog. Each week on this site, we have posted relevant research, insights, and recommendations to help you make the most of your strategies. We will now post to the Ruffalo Noel Levitz blog along with a good number of our colleagues—increasing the frequency and diversity of posts you’ll find on all manner of topics.

The Ruffalo Noel Levitz blog covers the key topics we have addressed: enrollment management, student retention, student recruitment, financial aid, and marketing. We are looking forward to not only continuing to share our insights with you, but to connect you with the additional strategies and recommendations of our new colleagues.

There’s also an option to subscribe for synopses of recent blog posts. You will continue to find, and be able to search, our archived blog posts here on this site.

We invite you to explore this resource—and to let us know if you’re looking for specific advice.

July 2012

Financial Aid Website Tips - Monday Musings
Whenever we work with a college or university, we spend some time getting to know the institution through its website. As a result, we have seen a lot of financial aid websites, and would like to offer a few “dos and don’ts” based on those reviews. Do make it easy to get to information about your sticker price. Tuition, fees, room, and board costs are one of the things students most want to see when they go to your website—so don’t bury your costs. At the same time, however, consider providing a link on that page to your net price calculator—particularly if your calculator does a good job of providing accurate estimates based not only on need but on other factors considered in your packaging policies. Also, remember to tell them…Read more

DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education - Monday Musings
I just finished reading DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education, by Anya Kamenetz. Although it was published in March of 2010, it is still very relevant today as the consumer rebellion against rising college costs that she predicted has started to come to fruition, especially this year. In addition, all of the recent press about MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) was foreshadowed in her assertion that the availability of free course content on the web (via iTunes U, YouTube…) plus social media platforms to make high tech also high touch (e.g., 2for platform, online gaming…) has the potential to transform the delivery of education. She observes three reactions to these opportunities: A movement…Read more

College Towns & Alumni Concentration - Monday Musings
The New York Times recently published a list of the “Cities with the Most College-Educated Residents” produced by the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program. The Washington, D.C./Arlington-Alexandria, VA area tops the list with 46.8% percent of residents holding college degrees in 2010. Here are the top 10: As the Times article points out, college graduates tend to be attracted to places that have lots of other college graduates. The Washington Monthly College Guide blog reported this week on a novel effort by one city to attract more college graduates. Niagara Falls, NY announced that the city would pay two years worth of student loan debt for any college graduate who would relocate to the city. The Buffalo/Niagara Falls area ranks 59th…Read more

Defining Discount Rate - Monday Musings
I just recently spoke with a representative from NACUBO about whether a certain type of funding should be considered institutional grant for purposes of calculating a NACUBO discount rate. (Note: the basic definition is institutional grants from all sources—funded and unfunded—divided by tuition and fee revenue –not including room and board—generated by the population being studied.) The source of funding under question was a grant from the state to improve completion rates for nurses, but some of it could be used for financial aid. Because the institution received the funds and had the authority to pick the recipients, the funds were to be considered institutional aid. I noted that that description was not unlike the way SEOG works,…Read more

Tuition Set Aside Funds - Monday Musings
It is no secret that state budget cuts have wreaked havoc at many land grant colleges and universities across the country. There have been double digit tuition increases for multiple years running in a number of states. The combination of state budget cuts and increasing tuition prompted one writer to remark that many public institutions have gone from being state supported to state assisted to state located. This chart from The College Board’s Trends in College Pricing 2011 tells quite a story. Tuition costs spike when state appropriations decrease: Source: Trends in College Pricing.© 2011 The College Citing both budget and philosophical reasons, some state governors and legislators are calling for reduction…Read more