Survey: Colleges looking for students who can pay, some willing to lower standards

With the economy still sagging, many colleges and universities are focusing on students who can afford to pay more of the costs of attending, according to a survey by Inside Higher Ed.

The survey, which was released Wednesday morning, included responses from more than 450 admissions officials at colleges and universities. One of the key areas the survey focused on was the various recruiting strategies colleges and universities say they’re planning to use for the next several years.

The most popular recruiting strategy among four-year schools is to focus on enrolling more out-of-state students, presumably because they tend to pay higher tuition than in-state students. Another popular strategy is to target international students as well, who also typically pay higher fees.

Public universities and colleges, faced with shrinking government aid, are also specifically focused on recruiting “full-pay” students, who don’t require student aid, according to the survey.

Perhaps more disturbing, some officials said they are lowering standards for students who can pay more. One in 10 admissions officials at four-year schools said they are admitting “full-pay” students who have lower grades and test scores than other applicants.

Roughly one in four admissions officials surveyed said they’ve felt pressure from administrators or trustees to admit specific applicants, according to the survey.

Check out the full report for more information.

POSTED BY ON September 22, 2011