II. Learning and Success

Lessons from Students

Dr. Charlene Alexander

This essay includes interviews with underrepresented students who attended public four-year universities with differing outcomes. Themes evolving from these interviews point to the need for universities to increase investments in engagement, belonging, career readiness, and relevancy, along with High Impact Practices to support retention goals. However, increasingly institutional resources are concentrated on efforts to address what has been described as the enrollment cliff and ultimately net tuition revenue rather than retention efforts. Predictive analytics as a tool to forecast student success has grown over the past few years. Universities entice high-achieving underrepresented students with significant merit scholarships, while providing “meaningful aid” to other underrepresented students who demonstrate potential, yet have limited means to attend public four-year institutions. Determining “meaningful aid” to attract and enroll students is a data analytics challenge dependent on predictive analytics. These analyses are used by institutions to determine what institutional discount should be provided to a student to approach “affordability.” Frequently, this practice still leaves low-income students with unmet need, while others receive substantial merit awards and are in essence being paid to attend college. In the meantime, we’re seeing an increasing number of underrepresented, low-income, and first-generation students who are reluctant to assume any college debt, and who are cautious of higher education’s ability to deliver on their promise of a better future. However, while universities are trying to balance their desire to ensure enrollment, underrepresented and first-generation students are challenged with feeling like they do not belong or “matter” while attending the institution. These developments are the focus of the interviews presented here. Two students had no financial need; one graduated, while the other did not. Two had financial need; one graduated, while the other did not. Efforts to address these retention challenges at Ball State University are presented.

The “demographic cliff” which is forecast to officially begin in 2025, presents serious challenges for college enrollment throughout the United States. This enrollment challenge is the result of three phenomena described by Mark Drozdowski (2023). First, declining birthrates during the Great Recession; second, growing distrust and disenchantment with the perceived value of a public higher education degree; and finally, universities’ engagement or lack thereof, with students affected by COVID-19. In The Great Upheaval, Arthur Levine and Scott Van Pelt (Levine and Van Pelt 2021), describe a grim future for higher education following the pandemic. Ideally, they lamented, if universities are to survive, remain competitive and relevant, they must structure educational offerings to meet the needs of this generation of students or go the way of the music, film, and newspaper industries. Understanding the ways in which students and underrepresented students in particular (i.e., students holding identities that have been traditionally underserved in higher education), want to engage with higher education demands institutional change. Scott Bass (2022) further describes underrepresented students’ experience with higher education as “unresponsive” to their needs. “When organizations’ administrative and organizational operations fall out of harmony with the people they serve, they are experiencing structural lag” (Bass 2022, 12). Structural lag is the inability of institutions to keep up with the changing needs of population cohorts or distinct population constituencies (10). Adding that institutional barriers that underrepresented students have had to address, overcome, and endure while enrolled in colleges and universities abound; they are described by the students who were interviewed for this essay.

This essay describes some creative initiatives employed by higher education institutions to be resourceful in their efforts to attract and retain students. However, although these recruitment efforts are central to ensuring that enrollment targets are met, we cannot ignore the equally important on-campus experiences of low-income and economically disadvantaged students. The interviews presented here are an opportunity to learn from four students who have had varying experiences with higher education; I present their recommendations for university administrators. Finally, I share the results of one initiative at Ball State University that focuses on High Impact Practices (HIPs) and the promising results these efforts are having on the university retention efforts.

Human Capital Research Corporation (HCRC)

Securing the attention of college-bound students has resulted in a growth of organizations utilizing predictive analytics to help institutions meet net tuition revenue goals and attract students to a specific university or college. Companies such as HCRC are providing higher education institutions with customized research and data analytics to ensure they are meeting their net tuition revenue, enrollment, and retention goals. HCRC is able to deliver these results to universities by using predictive analytics to optimize yield, predict acceptance rates, tuition pricing, and retention. Their goals ultimately are to ensure better outcomes for universities, outcomes that state legislators are increasingly paying attention to and are central to state funding formulas.

Another interesting recruitment tactic reported by the Chronicle of Higher Education on February 13, 2023, in an article titled “Congrats! You Didn’t Apply, but We Admitted You Anyway.” It describes an experiment in short-circuiting the admissions process used by universities to be competitive in a tight market. In this scenario, pre-screened students are promised admission to institutions they never applied to with some success. Undoubtedly, this strategy will be adopted by more universities that can afford this practice.

Scott Bass (2022), in Administratively Adrift: Overcoming Institutional Barriers for College Student Success, tackles the student experience in higher education related to equity, or the fair distribution of institutional resources. He describes recent influences on higher education and lessons learned from the pandemic, including students’ outrage following the murder of George Floyd and demands from underrepresented students for increased responsiveness to their needs. Additionally, while research over the past two years has also called out racial and gender disparities in student access and persistence to graduation (Carey 2008), any astute observer only has to look at efforts in Florida and Texas to contain Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts as counter to these efforts with seemingly little opposition.

The following conversation with four underrepresented students who attended public higher education institutions is presented here not only to assist universities in understanding their experiences but also to describe the factors that contributed, or not, to their persistence.

The names and institutional affiliations of these students have been changed to protect their identities. They represent minoritized and first-generation populations with and without financial need.

Student with Financial Need Who Graduated

Meet Rashida (not her real name). Rashida is a first-generation student who graduated in May 2022. She was a state scholar, a program designed to make college affordable for students with need. The program pays up to 100 percent of tuition but does not pay for room and board. To be eligible for this program, students must be enrolled starting in seventh or eighth grade, meet family income eligibility guidelines, and graduate with at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA. Rashida initially hoped to be admitted to another state institution that also covered room and board expenses for state scholars, but was wait-listed at that institution. She found herself faced with the dilemma of needing funding for room and board in addition to what she was able to secure as a Pell-eligible student. The summer before starting university, Rashida worked three jobs. Her first job was that of a dog sitter; she then worked at a retail store from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and finally she worked third shift at a large packaging company from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Her mom also secured an additional part-time job. Rashida felt she had “a good cushion” starting college and would not need to ask her mom for any additional resources.

 Financial Challenges

Rashida had little knowledge about what it would take financially to complete college. Rashida’s loans during her first year totaled $8,000. Her loans covered room and board expenses, and she had some money to pay for food and clothes. Her second-year loans increased to $12,000. The reason for this increase, she explained, was due to the fact that she moved to a brand-new dorm and did not know the price until she received her e-bill. “Lesson learned; I should have stayed in the old dorm.” She had no room and board expenses during her third year because during the pandemic she returned home and lived with her mother. During her senior year, Rashida was living off campus and had another loan for $8,000. She used her Pell refund of $1,200 to pay her rent. However, during the spring of her senior year, she did not receive another refund to pay her rent, only to learn that she had maxed out on loans because of the summer courses she completed to graduate on time. She explained that she did not know there was a limit on the amount she could take out.

Rashida applied for and received several awards and loans to cover her expenses during her final semester. Although it is true that all students who receive federal financial aid are required to complete entrance counseling, which outlines their rights and responsibilities of borrowing, unfortunately, most students eighteen years of age complete this counseling as a matter of course and may not attend to the fine details, including the aggregate limit on loan amounts.

Academic Challenges

Rashida’s mom and older brother attended college but did not graduate, and she was determined this would not be her narrative. Her initial career goal was to be a nurse, but later changed her major to health, specializing in skin care for women of color.

Rashida’s academic performance during her first semester was horrific. At the end of her first semester, she was on academic probation, with a GPA of 1.9. She said, “I really did not think I could do it.” Later, Rashida was diagnosed with anxiety: “I would pass out during testing, so I went to the testing lab to complete tests or to my professor’s office.” Her approach to academics changed drastically after meeting with an advisor. It was during that meeting that she fully absorbed the seriousness of her situation. She knew she needed to get a GPA of 2.5 the next semester. During that winter break she says, “a flip tuned on” the realization that her brother did not finish, and her desire not to become another statistic was the motivation she needed. Subsequently, Rashida made some necessary changes. First, she went out less and attended all help sessions for each class she was enrolled in. She obtained a tutor for each class and met with her professors regularly. She started speaking out more in class and using all the resources available to her. That spring, Rashida made the Dean’s List and from then on, was on the Dean’s List for four semesters during her academic career.

I asked Rashida about her experiences during orientation. Orientation she said, covered all the “flashy” stuff, but not the resources to help you. She needed to know where to get tutoring support, counseling support, or where to go if you needed free groceries or reduced-cost meals.

Additionally, Rashida was not aware of the varied majors related to her interests. As a sophomore, Rashida struggled in anatomy and changed her major to health education; she had no prior knowledge about this major. However, it was in health education that she found a home. As a student in health education, she felt loved by her professors; they were very hands-on. Her new major focused on community, people, and topics that interested her. Experiences she did not have in her pre-nursing courses which typically enrolled sixty students versus thirty students in her health courses. It was rare that students in health education did not show up for class, it was a close family feeling; if a student did not show up you knew. She states as a student in health education, “I was more dedicated to academics”.

Engagement

Rashida had a great deal to share about her engagement at the university. She described her first couple of weeks at the university as extremely hard. “I was the only one from my friendship group at high school who went to . . . university” she said. Her first roommate disappeared one weekend and never returned. Rashida felt no one could understand what she was going through, and she wanted desperately to find a group to fit in and realized she would not find friends just sitting in her room talking to her mom on the phone. Then one day she randomly found a distant relative at her university and started getting out of the dorm.

Rashida also learned a great deal about herself as an individual during her academic years. She learned that she is a connector and started to embrace her leadership skills. She became a member of the Black Student Association, and Delta Sigma Theta sorority. Later she became president of the Women and Men of Color student group. She joined Delta Sigma Gamma honor society for public health and was president of Delta Psi. During her senior year, she ran for homecoming queen. “I pushed myself to get out of my box my senior year,” she said. The older sisters in her sorority said, “Never settle—do better”;  she reports becoming programmed to do better.

Throughout her academic years, Rashida continued to work approximately twenty-two hours per week to meet all her expenses. During her second year, when she joined a sorority, she needed additional financial support to join that sorority. “Paying for that was expensive. My aunt and family members donated funds to support me, and I did not get all I needed until the day it was due.” She was $200 short that morning. Fortunately, her mom called that morning crying; there was a bonus that hit her account that day, and Rashida had the last $200 needed to join the sorority. Rashida attributes her engagement with her sorority to her persistence through graduation.

Advice for Administrators

I asked Rashida what advice she has for university administrators. She is convinced that her success grew because she was able to connect with other students of color at her predominantly white institution (PWI). Administrators, she said, need to experience the level of access students have to resources and increase awareness of the resources available to students. She believes this knowledge would result in increased funding to support students like herself who had to piece together resources from here and there to make it. She also believes that students themselves should talk to their financial officers at the beginning of each year to understand their financial packages and projections for the future so they would not have the same experience she had during her final semester.

Now that Rashida has graduated, her work life is not that much different than her college life. She remains very busy and engaged. She is working as a facilitator at the same organization that supported her during high school; she is a program coordinator at a center for wellness for urban women. Additionally, at the state level, she serves in an advisory capacity as a board member for the Department of Health for the Youth Division.

Student without Financial Need Who Graduated

My next interview is with Gabrielle (also not her real name). Gabrielle’s parents are both employed at the university she attended, and in addition to the generous employee discount, Gabrielle had scholarships from her high school along with Presidential and Community Service scholarships. All expenses were paid for and then some. Gabrielle applied to and enrolled in the Honors College. This was the town she grew up in, so she knew where she was going and had parental support to navigate the admissions process. During orientation, Gabrielle met fellow classmates also enrolled in the Honors College, who lived in the dorm with her, and although she knew she was part of a community, it took some time for her to feel comfortable networking within that community.

Employment for Gabrielle during college took different forms. During her first semester on campus, Gabrielle worked as a front desk employee so she could have some work experience. During her third summer, she was employed with summer projects advising, which she did also for the work experience and reports having no challenges getting the jobs she wanted. At this institution, students with financial need tend not to work on campus because of the lower wages paid to students. The trend is for students with financial need to work off campus, and most take advantage of those opportunities.

Identity Challenges

Gabrielle recounts that the Honors College enrolled mostly white students, which for her was difficult at times. Compared to her experiences, she felt students enrolled in the Honors College were very worldly, traveled extensively, had more opportunities, did not have experiences with others from different socioeconomic backgrounds, or with diverse student populations.

Gabrielle reported feeling alone and isolated at times. She was very secluded in her dorm room at first and then slowly started making friends; she engaged in new experiences after a while, especially with students in her honors classes, although as she describes, this took some time.

Academic Experience

Gabrielle enjoyed larger classes, big lecture hall experiences, as she considered herself to be more introverted and could be easily invisible in these settings. Most of her socialization occurred on campus via informal hangouts. Gabrielle felt very prepared academically for college. She attended a highly ranked high school and completed difficult high school courses with ease. She found some college classes were actually easier than classes she had in high school. She experienced her professors as eager to support her, and they frequently praised her class contributions. Gabrielle’s academic success started early and continued throughout her experience in college. She was always on the Dean’s List.

Gabrielle reported having no idea initially about what she wanted to major in. Her parents suggested economics, and she decided to take an economics course. She had her first economics class during her second semester, loved it, and performed well academically. At the end of her junior year, Gabrielle joined the Economics Club. One class assignment became her undergraduate thesis and was a turning point for Gabrielle. At her professor’s urging, Gabrielle submitted her thesis for a conference presentation in Las Vegas, and her presentation was accepted. Her experiences during the conference were unsettling. She was told she was too smart for the university she was attending and should go on to graduate school. She experienced these comments as derogatory, and triggered conversations she had with other classmates who did not grow up in her home town. Gabrielle internalized these negative comments and conversations about her hometown, which in turn, deterred her engagement with classmates.

Engagement

Sustained engagement for Gabrielle did not happen until her junior year. This was primarily driven by COVID-19, which forced her to check in online with her faculty. During her second summer, her Study Abroad class was canceled, which was a source of great disappointment and sadness.

She was challenged by the negative comments about the town she grew up in from those classmates from outside the state or outside her hometown. She experienced these comments as just hateful and painful, although she never said anything. She started feeling “less than” as an individual and tried to surround herself with those who grew up in her community; she distanced herself from students outside of her community. She went to counseling, which was not helpful in the beginning but more so at the end. One faculty member introduced her to the Finance Club, and she attended a presentation by the Office of the Comptroller. Gabrielle applied on the last day possible for a position, completed a very comprehensive assessment, and interviewed for the position. Prior to her formal interview, she completed a practice interview with a coach at the Career Center and credits that experience with helping her land her first professional job. She received the good news the day after Thanksgiving, and is now employed as an assistant national bank examiner. A job, she reports, that is consistent with her values.

Advice for University Administrators

Gabrielle’s advice centered on the concept of belonging. Students, she said, struggle with belonging, especially those who had to suffer through COVID-19. Gabrielle recommends that orientation should extend through the fall and even into the spring to increase opportunities for students to connect with each other and boost that sense of belonging. She encourages university leaders to keep reaching out to students even after orientation. Students need to continue to be engaged throughout their undergraduate experience to be successful. Her university-sponsored engagements were intense during her freshman year; then those slowly diminished in her sophomore year and then died off. She identified the Career Center as a great asset on campus and would encourage students to utilize these services early and often.

Academically, she remembers speaking with other students who at times needed grace, especially during moments of extreme challenge. Finally, she said, “I am happy with the choices I’ve made; I attended an institution that demonstrates understanding and provides grace to students.”

Student with Financial Need Who Did Not Graduate

My next interviews are with students who did not graduate from the universities they attended.

Brian is a first-generation college student who played the trombone during high school and was encouraged to attend college by his music teacher. He auditioned and was accepted into the school of music at a prestigious state institution. He completed the FAFSA and had grants to pay for college. He would need to find only $2,000 dollars a year to attend college. His plan was to take out loans to meet this need. However, his mom died the summer before he was to attend college, and he was encouraged by family members to take a gap year.

During that gap year, Brian found a job working full-time at a local hardware store and eventually moved into an apartment when his dad started dating. At the end of that year, he was advised by family members to attend another college, one closer to home. He applied and was accepted, although that institution did not have the same reputation in the arts as the institution he was first accepted into. His financial package remained the same.

After some careful reflection before starting college, Brian changed his major from band to photography. Brian explained that he believed his only career choice was to be a band teacher, and that seemed like the only real option for him at the time and was not a career he wanted to pursue. Because he lived closer to the university and felt familiar with the campus, Brian did not attend orientation, and continued to live in his apartment. He did, however, meet with an advisor to schedule his first semester of classes but had no other engagement with the university.

 Engagement

Brian reported not feeling connected to campus. It was stressful, he recalls, trying to concentrate on all the “buckets” in his life that he worked hard to keep full: friends, work, family, and school. He found it increasingly challenging to balance time between work and school. His academic performance suffered some, even though he did enjoy the classes he was enrolled in. He questioned whether or not he was on the right career path and applied for better paying jobs in the photography industry. He was able to secure a better paying position as a photographer, and, as he reports, his attention was now focused on being successful in this field. He also noted a disconnect between his career in photography and the theoretical knowledge he gained from his classes. His coursework did not focus on the day-to-day life of being a photographer. He wanted to learn more about the business of photography, and this was missing from the courses he took.

Additionally, now that he was working full-time, he spent very little time on campus. He reports having no social life with anyone in college. He was able to group his courses together so that his time on campus was limited. A typical campus day in the life of Brian involved driving to campus, parking in the garage, going to class, having a meal in the student union, and returning home. He did notice that the students from his peer group who went to college immediately after high school were well connected and lived on campus, while he felt very isolated and knew no one on his campus. He felt much older than the students in his classes, even though the difference was only one year. This he attributes to the stressors in his personal life.

Academics

Brian returned to campus for a second semester, stayed a couple weeks, and then disenrolled from the university. First, he wanted to leave before he incurred any additional debt; at the time of his departure he had $3,000.00 in debt. Second, he decided he learned more on the job as a photographer than as a student studying photography. The relevance of the theoretical/artistic aspects of a career in photography versus the practical side loomed large in his decision-making. Finally, the decision to leave college reduced the level of stress he was experiencing in his personal life. He concluded that the degree would not have made a difference in his career.

Advice for Administrators

Upon reflection, Brian noted that living on campus would have made a difference in his decision to leave the university. He also endorsed the idea of having more intentional, focused orientation activities for all students starting university, whether they are transferring or students like himself who have taken a gap year. Further, he recognized that while his first plan was to major in music, he did not have a “Plan B” or identified an alternative major/minor. The only conversation he had with his advisor was to schedule his courses. He also wished his first courses were more applied and could hold his interest as a student. Brian continued to work as a professional photographer after leaving college.

Student without Financial Need Who Did Not Graduate

Justin attended a highly ranked high school and has parents who are both university administrators. He had previous experience with college environments, was comfortable in university settings and felt decently prepared to start college. Justin had no financial needs. His tuition, room, and board were paid for; so were his living expenses. He did not have to work during college. Justin attended university away from his home and participated in the summer bridge program. He found that week prior to the start of classes very helpful. It was an opportunity to make friends in this new environment, tour campus, and identify resources that would be available to him. No one from his high school attended this university, so he reported feeling out of his comfort zone.

Academic Experience

Justin’s major was computer science, and during high school he tested nationally at an advanced level. At the university, Justin was challenged from the very beginning. He found the large classes very intimidating, given that his graduating class was fifty, and everyone knew everyone. His first computer science class was theoretical versus applied, and he struggled to keep up. He had hoped this class was more hands-on with practical applications. He was enrolled in a couple of smaller classes, which he enjoyed and thrived in because, as he reports, he was able to have in-depth conversations with those professors. His primary challenge was the transition from a very structured high school experience to a less structured college experience. He had difficulty managing his time and focusing on his studies.

Socially, he spent his time with his new friendship group, which composed primarily of other underrepresented students. He understood that his balance of socializing versus studying was off-kilter. He states, “It’s hard for me to sit and study.”

Justin spent most of his time in his dorm room, talking to friends, learning about shared experiences as underrepresented students, and spending time at parties. His time-management skills were very poor. Additionally, he was reluctant to reach out for help. He explains, “If I had to ask for help, then I can’t do it.” He grew less and less engaged with the university.

Second semester things just got worse, and he could not figure out how to climb out of his situation. His social group became more important than pursuing his studies; his academic performance suffered; and ultimately he withdrew from his classes.

 Advice for University Administrators

Looking back, he wished he had more assistance with time management. He believed more direct, intrusive advising would have helped his attention and motivation. These experiences helped support his success during high school and were missing at the university. Developmentally, he just did not feel ready for the independence and responsibility of managing his life and future.

Today, Justin is employed in the banking industry and is experiencing some success. He has been promoted and reports that his motivation today is a new focus on his future and the life he hopes to build given the experiences he’s now obtaining.

Themes Evolving from the Interviews

The students I spoke to varied in their interpersonal styles and interests. They all started college with confidence in their ability to succeed academically. Students with financial need were keenly aware of their circumstances and their responsibilities to keep working, whereas the students with no financial need focused on the experiences they were having as students.

Additionally, irrespective of financial circumstances, engagement with the university was a determining factor in the level of persistence for the students I spoke with. Engagement for these students happened at different times during their experiences, but early and frequent engagement, for those who graduated, made a difference in their experience with the university.

I was also struck by the themes of career relevance and the lack of career counseling in Brian’s narrative. Brian’s experience may have been enhanced by seeing clearer linkages to his interests and early career exploration. Success for Brian may have been a certificate designed for students who are interested in the business aspects of photography. Thus, including career exploration early in the academic advising experience of students may lead to better outcomes for students. For Justin, the transition from a small high school to a large university setting in a new town complicated his level of engagement, focus, and time management.

Engagement is not a new concept in the research on student success (Kahu 2013). However, it can be easily ignored as an essential part of the lived experience of students. Universities are exploring a variety of ways to operationalize “Engagement.” At Ball State University, this has taken the form of High Impact Practices (HIPs), https://www.bsu.edu/about/administrativeoffices/vice-provost/student-services/high-impact-practices. The key elements of HIPs include the following: to first ensure that performance expectations are set at a high level; to understand that HIPs require a significant investment of time and effort by students over an extended period of time, including interactions with faculty and peers about substantive matters; to include experiences with diverse student populations. In addition students must receive frequent, timely, and constructive feedback. Periodic, structured opportunities to reflect and integrate learning must be embedded in courses, and opportunities to discover the relevance of learning through real-world applications must be included.  Finally, HIPs must ensure public demonstrations of competence. Several initiatives at different stages of implementation are underway and include the following:

  • First-year seminars and experiences
  • Common intellectual experiences
  • Learning communities
  • Writing-intensives courses
  • Collaborative assignments and projects
  • Undergraduate research
  • Diversity/global learning; study abroad/away
  • Service learning, community-based learning
  • Internships
  • Capstone courses and projects
  • E-portfolios.

These initiatives are measurable and are already demonstrating results that matter to the core mission of the university and are aligned with strategic imperatives outlined in the university’s strategic plan. Further HIPs have been defined, attributed in Banner, implemented in identified courses, and have an assessment of student learning outcomes embedded in each course. This initiative was started in the Fall of 2021 as the university started to return from the pandemic ,and thus far over 13,000 students have had a HIPs experience. Observations of students who have had a HIPs experience include higher retention, persistence, graduation rates, higher GPAs, greater appreciation for diversity, deeper self-reported learning gains, improved self-efficacy, and sense of belonging. Although these efforts are still in their infancy, for the students I interviewed who persisted through graduation, each of their experiences include one or more of the HIPs listed above. Specifically, Rashida was engaged in several service learning community-based opportunities; she took on leadership opportunities with the Black Student Association, Women and Men of Color student group, the Delta Sigma Gamma honor society for public health and was president of Delta Psi. For Gabrielle, her HIP included living in the honors learning community, participating in the Economics Club, and undergraduate research. The two students who did not complete college reported having none of these experiences.

As universities struggle to retain students, it’s clear from the sample of interviews presented here, that knowing you’re a part of a caring community made a difference in the experiences of those students who persisted to graduation. Clearly defined and well-implemented HIPs provides a promising area for continued exploration if we are to close the gap for students of color and first-generation students.

References

Bass, Scott A. 2022. Administratively Adrift: Overcoming Institutional Barriers for College Student Success. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Carey, Kevin. 2008. Graduation Rate Watch: Making Minority Student Success a Priority. Washington, DC: Educator Sector.

“Congrats! You Didn’t Apply, but We Admitted You Anyway.” 2023, Chronicle of Higher Education. https://www.chronicle.com/article/congrats-you-didnt-apply-but-we-admitted-you-anyway. February 13.

Drozdowski, M. 2023. Looming Enrollment Cliff Poses Serious Threat to Colleges. Best Colleges. https://www.bestcolleges.com/news/analysis/looming-enrollment-cliff-poses-serious-threat-to-colleges/#:~:text=Thanks%20to%20lower%20birthrates%20during,phenomenon%20the%20%22enrollment%20cliff.%22. January 27.

Kahu, Ella R. 2013. “Framing Student Engagement in Higher Education.” Studies in Higher Education 38 (5): 758–773. DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2011.598505.

Levine, Arthur, and Scott van Pelt. 2021. The Great Upheaval. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.


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