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Don Gray

Conducting an Effective Pilot Study - Monday Musings
In a recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Becky Supiano described the results of an experiment that shed light on the question of why high-achieving, low-income students don’t enroll as often in the selective colleges that high-achieving, wealthier students attend. The great value of the study stems from the fact that it was an experiment – not in the sense we often use the word (“I’m going to try this as an experiment.”), but in the scientific sense, where two similar groups are subjected to different “treatments” of some kind to assess whether they have a differential impact. This is just one example of the sort of questions enrollment managers routinely face when wondering what kinds of policy changes might affect…Read more

Marketing the Value of Your Degrees - Monday Musings
By now we’ve all heard stories and read articles on how college costs and subsequently student loans are rising so swiftly they could soon balloon out of control. The distribution of new freshmen may be shifting away from four year institutions toward two year institutions, but even so prospective students are still enrolling in college. These students are trusting the commonly held belief that earning a college degree remains one of the best ways to improve their economic situation. The key for colleges then is to make sure that this trust is well placed. Marketing your institution’s broad selection of amenities e.g., climbing walls, 60 inch plasma TVs, etc., may help convince students they’ll have a good time while in school, but these…Read more

Elastic or Inelastic, That is the Question - Monday Musings
If you work in the Admissions or Financial Aid office of your institution you’ve probably heard a hundred different students say, “If you could just find a way to give me a couple thousand extra dollars in scholarships, then I’d enroll.” Or perhaps something like this, “University X is offering me $16,000 in grants and you’re only offering me $15,000? Isn’t there anything you can do to match their offer?” Students and their families have become savvy consumers. Some are facing financial hardships, others are just looking to get the best deal possible, and most aren’t afraid to ask for more money. The big questions for college administrators are, “Should we offer these students a little more money?” “Will it increase our…Read more