Highlights from Higher Ed: At-home Standardized Testing, Admissions Worries and College Decisions

RJ Nichol
Mar 27, 2020

Students can now take the GRE at home

The Educational Testing Service (ETS) has announced that students in several countries can now take the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) from their own computers at home. However, students must have cameras on their computers so that they can be monitored by proctors via live video while taking the test. The new rule applies to students in the United States, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Hong Kong and Macau. They’ll pay the same price they would have otherwise paid to take the exam at a testing center. ETS said students will also be able to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) at home. In the past five years “the percentage of entrants submitting GRE scores has climbed at 42 of the top 50 full-time MBA programs in the United States.”

Source: Poets & Quants

Survey: Coronavirus has admissions officers “deeply worried” 

A recent survey of enrollment leaders at 257 four-year colleges revealed that 87% believe the Coronavirus crisis will cause a drop in the number of future campus visits by potential applicants. More than one-third of respondents (36%) reported that they have already seen a decline this year, compared with 50% reporting no decline; 15% were uncertain. Most (75%) also expressed fear that the pandemic will affect their yield. “Asked to rank their prospects for the yield — the percentage of admitted applicants who will enroll — 43 percent of enrollment leaders answered 5, on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the worst. And 32 percent answered 4.” Many schools are responding to such concerns by adding new online programs for applicants and students, including video conferences (62%), live social media events (46%) and virtual tours (26%).

Source: Inside Higher Ed 

Coronavirus is causing one in four incoming freshmen to rethink their college choice

Researchers who surveyed 300 families about college plans have found that “25.7% of inbound freshman are rethinking their college choice because of the Coronavirus pandemic.” Almost half that number (12.6%) said they are considering deferring their acceptance for one year with the hope of attending their first-choice school. The top reasons cited by those rethinking their choice are a desire to be closer to home (32.9%), not wanting to lose tuition money (28.8%) and fear of getting the Coronavirus at a particular college (21.9%). Among those not rethinking their college decision, the top reasons were the belief that the chance of getting sick is the same regardless of location (58.3%), that the Coronavirus will be contained by the fall of 2020 (56.4%) and that “everyone is overreacting right now” (29.4%).

Source: PRWeb

A growing number of schools extend their decision deadline

More than 100 colleges and universities, including George Mason University in Virginia, Oregon State University and Williams College in Massachusetts, have extended their traditional May 1 “decision deadline” by one month in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic and the uncertainty it has unleashed. In addition to forcing the cancellation of classes and campus activities, the crisis has also spawned “economic shocks that are causing layoffs and ravaging college-savings accounts.” Those developments are further fueling concerns about the ability of institutions to recruit and yield the students they need. Moody’s Investors Service issued a report recently which said, “universities face unprecedented enrollment uncertainty, risks to multiple revenue streams and potential material erosion in their balance sheets” in the coming months.

Source: The Washington Post

RJ Nichol

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Over the last three decades, Liaison has helped over 31,000 programs on more than 1,000 campuses more effectively manage admissions through its Centralized Application Service (CAS™) technology and complementary application processing and support services. The higher education technology leader supports its partner institutions’ total enrollment goals by pairing CAS with its Enrollment Marketing (EM) platform as well as the recently acquired TargetX (CRM) and advanced analytics software Othot.