How Presidents View Admissions Issues

On some issues, their perspectives are quite different from those of admissions deans.

March 12, 2018
Covers of Inside Higher Ed/Gallup surveys of presidents and admissions officers

College presidents are less worried about meeting undergraduate enrollment targets than are those who lead their admissions operations.

Inside Higher Ed on Friday released its annual survey, conducted with Gallup, of the views of presidents on a range of issues.

The percentage of presidents "very concerned" about meeting undergraduate enrollment goals was down notably from a year ago.

Percent of Presidents "Very Concerned" About Meeting Undergraduate Enrollment Goal
Institution Type 2017 2018
Public Doctoral Universities 23% 10%
Public Master’s/Baccalaureate Institutions 51% 40%
Public Associate Colleges 47% 37%
Private Doctoral/Master’s Universities 44% 45%
Private Baccalaureate Colleges 73% 60%

Comparing these results to the reactions of admissions deans in a survey released last year suggests far greater levels of worry among the admissions leaders than among the presidents. Leaders at public doctoral universities were the least concerned in both surveys.

And indeed many public flagships are reporting record numbers of applications. In some cases, these institutions are admitting more of their applicants, especially those from out of state who pay higher tuition rates. But the share saying that they were "very concerned" was much higher among admissions leaders in public higher education. In private higher education, the views of the presidents and admissions directors were more closely aligned

Percent of Presidents and Admissions Directors "Very Concerned"
About Meeting Undergraduate Enrollment Goal, 2018
Institution Type Admissions Directors Presidents
Public Doctoral Universities 25% 10%
Public Master’s/Baccalaureate Institutions 62% 40%
Public Associate Colleges 62% 37%
Private Doctoral/Master’s Universities 48% 45%
Private Baccalaureate Colleges 62% 60%


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