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Monday, September 30, 2019

An Admissions Group Is Scrambling to Delete Parts of Its Ethical Code. That Could Mean Big Changes for Higher Ed.

Grace Elletson
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Originally published August 30, 2019

Here is an excerpt:

A handful of provisions are at issue. One prohibits colleges from offering incentives, like special housing or better financial-aid packages, only to students who use an early-decision application.

Another says colleges can’t recruit or offer enrollment to students who are already enrolled or have submitted deposits to other colleges. Under the NACAC ethics code, May 1 is when commitments by those students are made final, and colleges must respect that deadline.

Another states that colleges cannot solicit transfer applications from a previous applicant or prospect unless that student inquired about transferring.

According to a document sent to NACAC members, the Justice Department believes “that these provisions restrain competition among colleges” and that, if they are removed, thus allowing for more competition, the result “may lower” college costs if colleges can solicit students who have already committed.

If the provisions are removed, the changes will be significant, and turmoil in admissions offices should be expected, said Jon Boeckenstedt, vice provost for enrollment management at Oregon State University.

Removing those parts of the ethical code would allow institutions to recruit students from competitor colleges even after they’ve committed, and to see their own students get poached, he said.

The changes could cause colleges to enter into a precarious dance — keep students committed and simultaneously recruit others, all year long.

Given the uncertainty that the changes would cause for enrollment predictions, especially for smaller, tuition-dependent colleges, higher education’s landscape will be upended, Boeckenstedt said.

The info is here.