Faculty at one public university are asked to get involved in student retention

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With enrollment declining, the president of the University of Southern Maine wants faculty members to call students to make sure they return this fall.

Mills Adopts New Approach on Transgender Admissions

Mills College is adopting a new, more open approach on admissions for transgender students. To date, most women's colleges have rejected applicants who were born men and may still legally be men, but who identify as women. Mills will now accept them as well as applicants who do not identify as male or female, but who were designated as female at birth, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. Mills also said it would not accept undergraduate applicants who were born female, but who legally have become male. Like many women's colleges, Mills will continue to educate students admitted under its policies but whose gender identity changes after enrollment.


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ACT's annual score report shows languishing racial gaps, mediocre scores

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The ACT's annual score report, released today, shows persistent racial achievement gaps and stagnant average scores -- with the majority of test-takers failing to meet college readiness benchmarks.

What Students Were Looking For

A new survey of new students at two-year and four-year colleges -- of students who participate in, a service that helps colleges identify prospective students -- found notable demographic differences in what students said that they wanted in a college. Among the differences:

  • Female students with high SAT and ACT scores said that they focused on colleges with strong academic records.
  • Male students with lower SAT scores ranked “appealing campus traditions” and big-time athletics as key to their choices.
  • Minority students -- but not white students -- said that they gained key information from college fairs and emails from admissions offices.
  • Southern students, more than those elsewhere, cared about colleges having "appealing" traditions.

The survey was conducted by Lipman Hearne and Cappex.

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Sociologists analyze access issues in higher education

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Sociologists, in annual meeting focused on economic hardship, consider policies and practices that hinder advancement of low-income students.

ABA Approves Changes in Law School Accreditation

The American Bar Association's governing council has approved changes in the ABA rules for accrediting law schools, The National Law Journal reported. The changes will require that law school have students gain experience in clinics or other real world settings, and will shift an emphasis from the qualifications of entering students to measures of learning and placement rates. The ABA and law schools have been criticized for not doing enough in the past about law schools that enroll students who may have little chance at employment in jobs sufficient to repay their loans.


Compilation of Articles on Educating Nontraditional Students

Inside Higher Ed is today releasing a free compilation of articles -- in print-on-demand format -- about strategies for recruiting, retaining and graduating nontraditional students. The articles involve a wide range of institutions, the use of technology and different curricular approaches.

This booklet is part of a series of such compilations that Inside Higher Ed is publishing on a range of topics.

On Thursday, September 11 at 1 p.m. Eastern, Inside Higher Ed editors Scott Jaschik and Doug Lederman will conduct a free webinar to talk about the issues raised in the booklet's articles. To register for the webinar, please click here.

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Beloit Goes Test-Optional in Admissions

Beloit College announced Friday that it is ending (for domestic applicants) a requirement that students submit SAT or ACT scores. A statement from the vice president for enrollment, Robert Mirabile, said: "Given the extremely competitive marketplace in which we recruit students, it is important for us to carefully weigh the costs and benefits of each part of our application. From this perspective, I am concerned that the standardized test requirement adds little unique value to our selection process.  Indeed, the requirement can, in some cases, inhibit access to Beloit among capable students who would greatly contribute to and benefit from the college.”

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Study questions idea that those who enroll at more selective colleges are more likely to graduate

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Study questions idea that going to the most competitive college one can get into increases odds of completion.

How Berkeley and UCLA Law Schools Responded to Ban on Affirmative Action

A new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research (abstract available here) explores the impact of California's ban on consideration of race in admissions on admissions rates for black students to the law schools at the University of California at Berkeley and UCLA. The study finds a significant drop in the black admit rate -- from 61 to 31 percent, controlling for various factors. The 31 percent figure, the study finds, is still significantly higher than it would have been had the law schools focused largely on traditional admissions criteria such as test scores and grades, and the advantage for black applicants is greatest among the share of the applicant pool that is on the line between admission and rejection. The study suggests that the UC law schools have minimized the loss of black students by placing greater emphasis in admissions on race-neutral factors (such as economic disadvantage) that apply to many black applicants. Officials of the two law schools said that they were studying the report and could not comment on it Monday.

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