Enrollment Concerns Top-of-Mind for College Presidents
According to a recent survey by Inside Higher Ed and Gallup, 84% of college presidents are “very” or “somewhat” concerned about meeting their institution’s enrollment targets.
For the fifth straight year, overall college enrollment is down across the country, and for a variety of reasons: the improving economy is luring adult students away from campus and back to the workforce; demographic shifts are reducing the pool of prospective students; and student debt is deterring many students from completing college — or even considering it as an option in the first place.
As colleges struggle to meet their goals, many are turning to institutional aid to boost admissions yield and enrollment. But college leaders are concerned about the long-term impact of this strategy. In fact, two-thirds of private college presidents surveyed by Inside Higher Ed reported feeling concerned that their college is awarding too much aid to students who may not need it.
With average discount rates at an all-time high of 48.6%, and as enrollment continues to lag, many presidents recognize that increasing institutional aid is not sustainable. Institutions need a more effective way to address students’ (and parents’) concerns about college costs and student debt.
A Better Way: LRAP
A growing number of colleges are turning to LRAP as a solution. LRAP (loan repayment assistance program) is unique in the profound, long-term promise it makes: if a student’s income after graduation is modest (e.g., less than $40,000/year), LRAP will help repay their student loans and loans borrowed by their parents. Assistance continues until graduates are earning more than the predetermined income threshold, or until their loans are paid off entirely.
Because of this long-term promise, LRAPs have shown to be, dollar-for-dollar, more effective at influencing enrollment decisions than institutional aid alone. Further, by awarding LRAP upfront to low-discount, low-yield cells, it can help improve net tuition revenue and discount rates.
“I would really encourage presidents to consider this…to look at it as a revenue-generating source and one that will help their students, ultimately.” – LRAP Partner College President
See what students, parents, and college administrators have to say about LRAP here.