480 Colleges Still Want You to Attend This Fall

For high school graduates still undecided about college options, the good news is that you still may have time to apply to hundreds of options around the country. The National Association for College Admission Counseling reports about 480 colleges that are still enrolling students for fall 2014 freshman and/or transfer admission. See the NACAC website for more information on the entire list of colleges.

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As good as this news may seem for some high school students, it spells trouble on the other side of the admission desk. Faced with enrollment shortfalls for the upcoming school year, many colleges and universities are forced to offer more financial aid to draw undecided students to their campus. Eric LaMott, Concordia University-St. Paul’s senior chief of operations, notes that “[institutions] are struggling to secure their classes and the only way they are going to do that is by leveraging more financial aid dollars, whether they are budgeted or unbudgeted.” Some are even resorting to attempts at poaching other colleges’ students by offering more financial aid than their competitors to students who have already decided to enroll elsewhere.

This environment of competition creates uncertainty even among institutions that have met their enrollment goals. It will certainly make for an interesting summer at hundreds of admission offices, as they struggle to entice enough students to make goal without setting ruinous financial aid precedents. If colleges are forced to raise tuition prices to make up for enrollment shortfalls, this may turn into a lose-lose situation for colleges and students alike.

Cited: “Strategies for Recruiting Students” by InsideHigherEd

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