Just a few months ago, it would have been inconceivable to most college and university admissions leaders that their teams would be working remotely to enroll students for the upcoming fall semester.
Their ability to do so, however, raises important new questions about the best way to revolutionize admissions processes for the rest of this year and beyond.
The view from campus
Liaison’s on-demand webinar, “The Virtual Admissions Office,” explores this topic in a round-table discussion moderated by best-selling author and college admissions expert Jeff Selingo.
“How can the selection process be conducted most efficiently when admissions officers are working remotely?” he asks. “What type of work might continue to be done remotely, even when people are back on campuses? What are the short- and long-term consequences of what we’re doing now, and how should we prepare for them?”
Panelists sharing their unique insights and strategies include:
- Mark Butt, Director of Undergraduate Selection, Emery University.
- David Cotter, Assistant Provost for Graduate Enrollment & Master’s and Professional Student Support, Boston University.
- Sarah Jacobson, Assistant Dean, Admissions and Enrollment Services, The Graduate School, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“Trying to find a work-life balance can be a personal challenge, but this whole experience has really encouraged my team’s flexibility and creativity in many ways because we’ve had to connect with prospective students in a virtual environment,” says Jacobson. “This has pushed us all to innovate and I think it will make us better going forward, even when we’re not in a socially distanced world. It really has pushed us to think about our outreach, about our communications and how we can reach people.”
“One of the assumptions that higher ed makes about students is that everyone has equal access to the internet and to quiet spaces,” says Butt. “I think this disruption could ultimately be a good thing if it results in education becoming more accessible to students who weren’t being served before.”
“The Virtual Admissions Office” webinar also focuses on the different ways undergraduate and graduate-level admissions offices have been affected by recent events.
“I think more pressure has been put on graduate programs to bring in tuition dollars and then to maximize those dollars,” says Cotter. “This is shining a light on how important it is to the university’s overall budget to continue to bring in our graduate students.”
Panelists also discuss their priorities and plans regarding:
- Shifting deadlines.
- International enrollment.
- Canceled standardized tests.
- Students’ loss of traditional assets this spring (grades, activities, jobs etc.).
- Virtual information sessions and tours.
- Marketing higher ed in a post-coronavirus world.
Fall will be here before you know it. Are you doing enough to make sure your students will be there in time?
Watch “The Virtual Admissions Office” to learn how you should be preparing for the months — and years — ahead. It’s available at no cost here.