The College Board is hoping the college industry will see a boom in financial aid applications and applications for scholarships as the 2020 school year approaches.
The news comes as the college sector begins to show signs of a turnaround, with admissions, scholarships, and tuition rates falling for the first time in several years.
A year ago, the U.S. News & World Report released its first annual rankings of colleges for 2020, ranking all of the 50 states by student body, quality of life, and overall experience.
But the college market is not expected to be the same.
“College was not expected for the next 10 years, it’s still not going to be a major focus of college decisions in the next few years,” Mark Bittman, the president of the College Board, told Mashable.
With fewer students attending colleges and schools, the college world has changed, and it’s now more competitive.
“If you’re not in the college business, it might not be for you,” Bittmer said.
As a result, colleges are looking for ways to adapt and find a new way to increase enrollment.
Bittman and other members of the board met with representatives of the industry and colleges to discuss ways to improve the college experience.
“College is a very challenging market to do business in,” he said.
“You’re looking at an opportunity to innovate and try something different.”
In an effort to provide guidance to colleges on how to make the transition, the board has released a set of guidelines that colleges can use to identify and recruit students in the 2020-21 school year.
For colleges looking to recruit and keep students, the guidelines include “a holistic approach to recruiting, identifying students, and identifying the right program for them.”
“If we have a school with a good student body and a high school graduation rate, it will attract the right students,” Bitzer said.
But the guidelines also encourage colleges to look beyond graduation rates and include things like GPA, ACT and SAT scores, which will help colleges determine if they have a student that is ready to go to college.
Bittmer also said that some colleges are starting to take a hard look at their recruiting strategies.
While the guidelines aren’t binding, he said, “We’re very aware of the fact that it’s the college marketplace.
We’re looking to see if we can get into the marketplace as well and help colleges to stay ahead of the curve.”
“We want to be sure that we’re making sure that the college is making a concerted effort to attract the students that are coming in to the marketplace,” Bizzerman added.