SOURCE: ParenteBeard


August 27, 2012 09:37 ET

ParenteBeard Higher Education Quick Poll: Mid Atlantic Higher Ed Institutions Say Rising Costs Affecting Enrollment

Two-Thirds Say Higher Tuition Does Not Improve Academic Programs

PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwire - Aug 27, 2012) - With colleges and universities across the country about to begin the 2012-13 school year, a new quick poll released today by ParenteBeard indicates rising tuition costs are having a detrimental effect on student enrollment at higher education institutions throughout New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In the poll of higher education leaders from across the region, 58% of respondents said that rising tuition costs have caused their institution's overall enrollment to go down. Meanwhile, 63% said that the rising pressure to decrease tuition has caused their organization to miss out on the right mix of students. But when asked if higher tuition rates have enabled these institutions to significantly improve their academic programs, 67% of respondents said no, that higher tuition simply allows them to keep up.

According to David Capitano, ParenteBeard practice leader of the public sector group and regional managing partner for the Northern PA region, higher education institutions need to challenge past practices regarding recruiting. "Today, attracting the right mix of students is about understanding the mindset of the financial decision makers -- the students, the parents -- and changing the conversation," said Capitano. "Historically, colleges focused their interactions with students and parents on academic reputation and great professors. Today, many colleges and universities need to think about how to incorporate the messages of affordability, flexibility and class options into their sales pitch."

Capitano says that understanding the background and needs of the current student population and addressing these needs through the recruiting process is also key to keeping up enrollment and helping higher education institutions attract the right mix of students. 

"Enrolment statistics from the last few years have shown time and time again that applicants are more ethnically diverse than ever before," said Capitano. "With this changing mix, comes a need to focus on offerings like food service, language programs and overall communications programs during the initial recruiting conversations. Keying in on these features will demonstrate the value they offer to students beyond a degree."

The poll surveyed 26 higher education leaders throughout the Mid Atlantic.

About ParenteBeard
ParenteBeard is ranked among the top 25 accounting firms in the U.S. A leader in providing CPA and business advisory services to small businesses, middle market companies, nonprofits and SEC registrants, ParenteBeard has 1,100 professionals located throughout the Mid Atlantic region. As an independent member of Baker Tilly International, ParenteBeard is proud to provide the highest level of service to clients nationally and internationally.

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