Sept. 22, 2011

Colleges try to unlock secrets to student retention
Education Week (free subscription)
Record numbers of students flocked to college campuses this fall with high hopes of obtaining what many say is the new prerequisite for a middle-class life: a college degree. But the harsh reality is that little more than half those bright-eyed college freshmen, on average, will actually finish. The gap between access and completion has put a new focus on ramping up retention — the percentage of freshmen who return to the same institution for a second year of college. And that's a task, observers say, for precollegiate educators as well as their college counterparts.More

Universities seeking out students of means
The New York Times
Money is talking a bit louder in college admissions these days, according to a survey to be released recently by Inside Higher Ed, an online publication for higher education professionals. More than half of the admissions officers at public research universities, and more than a third at four year colleges said that they had been working harder in the past year to recruit students who need no financial aid and can pay full price, according to the survey of 462 admissions directors and enrollment managers conducted in August and early September.More

ACPA supports the Healthy Minds Study
ACPA/Healthy Minds Study
ACPA is partnering with the Healthy Minds Study, a national survey study of mental health, alcohol and drug use, and help-seeking among college students. Want to assess your student population?More

Moody's: US higher education struggling since 2008
Public and private universities across the United States have been struggling with endowment losses, thin liquidity, declining gifts, reduced state help and resistance to tuition hikes since 2008, Moody's Investors Services said on recently. These problems have spurred an increase in rating activity, the credit agency said, but it added that "university ratings have been fairly stable overall."More

Fall 2011 ACPA Involvement Challenge
Between Sept. 15 and Dec. 1, we encourage all members to refer colleagues, friends and students to join ACPA. Winning entities will be provided the opportunity to host a reception/event/meeting for your directorate or leadership in an executive suite at the 2012 Convention in Louisville. To find out more, visit The Fall 2011 ACPA Involvement Challenge Web site.More

Universities now urging freshmen to consider studying the forgotten humanities
San Jose Mercury News
On 21st century U.S. campuses, is there room for Shakespeare, Sartre and Sondheim? A declining number of students think so — a trend that worries leaders at many top universities, where engineers often outnumber humanists. Seeking to reignite interest in the liberal arts, Stanford University is welcoming the class of 2015 with a rich opening volley of literature, film and philosophy designed to elevate freshmen dreams beyond that cool job at Google.More

ACPA sets a new convention record
Our members have set a new record for Annual Convention program submissions! Over 775 educational programs were submitted for the 2012 Louisville Convention. Convention registration re-opens on Oct. 1.More

Student loan defaults surging
The News Journal
Laura Blagys is becoming more typical of today's recent college graduate. She has moved back in with her parents and she's dreading her student loans. So much so that the 21-year-old University of Delaware alumna hasn't yet depressed herself with the details of how much she'll owe per month. There has been a surge nationwide in the number of students defaulting on their loans, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Education.More

ACPA: A founding member of CAS
The Council for the Advancement of Standards, or CAS, is a consortium of nearly 40 associations — ACPA is a founding member — which promotes the improvement of programs and services to enhance the quality of student learning and development. CAS has recently created new standards in Parent and Family Programs and Veterans and Military Programs and Services. You can purchase these standards, revised since the 7th edition of the CAS Standards Book here.More

College hopefuls get up close and personal look at campus life
PR Newswire via The Sacramento Bee
One of the most stressful times in any college bound student's life is choosing colleges to apply to and starting the admissions process. A new service, CollegeSolved™, makes the process personal by allowing prospective students to learn more about a college's on campus experience through a host of tools, including free conversations with current college students.More

Do your students need a financial adviser?
U.S.News & World Report
The average 2011 college graduate who took out loans is likely to owe $27,000 in debt — a record, notes Mark Kantro­witz, publisher of the college financial aid website As costs continue to outpace inflation, families are increasingly turning to specialists for advice on how to cope.More

Too lax on college drinking
The Washington Post (Opinion)
Jim Yong Kim, the president of Dartmouth College, stated, "The rate of student alcohol abuse has remained unchanged for 30 years." He and his colleagues at prestigious institutions of higher learning are perplexed and troubled by this information and are working to reduce alcohol consumption by college students. Yet, given that the legal drinking age is 21, approximately three-quarters of college students are breaking the law when they drink alcohol.More