Admission Survey: Debt Concerns Are Keeping Potential Applicants Away

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The majority of admission leaders believe their institutions are losing potential applicants due to concerns about student debt, according to a recent Inside Higher Ed report.

For the third consecutive year, more than 80 percent of admission directors believe a fear of debt is preventing students from applying to their respective institutions, survey results show. The concern is greatest among officials at private universities, with 91 percent of respondents citing debt worries as a barrier in the application process.

The results are culled from survey responses from 336 admission leaders at public and private colleges from across the nation.

Other findings from the 2019 Survey of College and University Admissions Officers include:

  • Only 37 percent of colleges had achieved their enrollment goals by May 1.
  • A majority of respondents (60 percent) believe the Varsity Blues bribery scandal hurt the image of colleges generally, but relatively few believe it has hurt their institutions.
  • More than half of respondents (58 percent) are concerned about maintaining their current international enrollment numbers.

The report and its findings will be discussed later this week during a session —What Admission Leaders Think—at NACAC’s 75th National Conference in Louisville.

Read more about the survey, which was conducted in conjunction with researchers from Gallup.

Admitted writer/editor Mary Stegmeir welcomes additional comments and story ideas at mstegmeir@nacacnet.org. 

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