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Fewer International Students at Christian Colleges

January 4, 2021

Embassy and consulate closures, coronavirus-related travel bans, and fewer international flights made it difficult for international students to attend school this past semester.  Total international student enrollment across American higher education dropped by 16 percent, according to a survey of 700 institutions by the  Institute of International Education.  New international student enrollment declined by 43 percent.  Approximately 40,000 international students deferred enrollment to a future term.  The decline was less pronounced at small Christian colleges, but the absence of international students is still straining institutions in major ways.

On average, about 4 percent of students at Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU)-associated schools from outside the United States, according to the most recent data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.  Recruiting more is often a priority.

International students, first and foremost, bring a global perspective to a campus and have an impact on student life.  Finances are a second driver.  Many U.S. colleges are facing challenges in enrolling students from the U.S. leading to revenue losses, and international students sometimes pay more than their U.S. peers.  Christian colleges, however, commit dollars to recruiting and providing financial aid to international students because of the bigger values they feel that international students bring to the campus culture.

College Graduation Rates Remain Flat

December 9, 2020

National graduation rates have plateaued at four-year colleges, and community college rates have decreased, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.  The six-year completion rate for those who started college in 2014 is up by 0.3 percent, bringing it up to 60.1 percent.  The national eight-year completion rate fell by 0.5 percentage points to 61.3 percent--the first decline in years.  Adult graduation rates are generally increasing, but completion rates for traditional-age students are plateauing, and those students made up the majority of the 2014 cohort.  Completion rates for four-year colleges are doing better than those of community colleges.  Community colleges were the only type of institution to see an overall drop, of 0.5 percent, in the six-year completion rate.  Completion rates at four-year public colleges improved by 0.7 percent points, and rates at private four-year colleges improved by 0.2 percent.  It is unlikely that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected this year's six- and eight-year completion rates, the report states.

Re​port: 28% of Co​llege Students Come from Immigrant Families

November 4, 2020

Students from immigrant families accounted for 28 percent of U.S. college students in 2019, up from 20 percent in 2000, according to a new analysis by the Migration Policy Institute commissioned by the President's Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration. The number of students from Immigrant parents--those who were either born abroad or born in the U.S. to immigrant parents-grew at a much faster rate than the number of U.S. born students with U.S. born parents. The analysis does not include international students. Researchers found that the majority (68 percent) of students from immigrant families are U.S. citizens while another 16 percent are naturalized citizens. Immigrants and U.S. born children of immigrants accounted for 85 percent of all Asian Americans and Pacific Islander students and 63 percent of all Latino students.

Students from immigrant families made up 50 percent of all college students in California. States where immigrant students made up a quarter of the college population or more were: Hawaii (40 percent), Nevada (40 percent), Florida (40 percent), New York (39 percent), New Jersey (36 percent), Massachusetts (34 percent), Washington (32 percent), Texas (32 percent), Connecticut (29 percent), Arizona (27 percent), Maryland (27 percent), Virginia (27 percent), Illinois (26 percent), and Oregon (25 percent).

College Enrollments Drop for Fall of 2020

October 1, 2020

Undergraduate enrollments are down by 2.5 percent compared to the fall of 2019, with the biggest losses being at community colleges, where enrollments declined by 7.5 percent, according to preliminary data on fall enrollments from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Although the enrollment declines were the steepest at community colleges, undergraduate enrollment fell at all types of colleges, including private nonprofit four-year colleges (-3.8 percent) and private for-profit four-year colleges (-1.9 percent). The decline was more modest at public four-year colleges (-0.4 percent), although there were differences across public four-year institutions according to location, with rural institutions seeing the biggest decline (-4.0 percent) and urban institutions seeing slight gains (+0.5 percent). The first glimpse of fall enrollment data during the COVID-19 pandemic, and economic recession shows that undergraduate enrollment fell for students of all ethnicities. There were sizable declines in international enrollments at both undergraduate (-11.2 percent) and graduate (-5.0 percent) levels . Total graduate enrollment increased by 3.9 percent.

No Clear Advice on Closing Dorms

September 17, 2020

Top U.S. health experts worry colleges will spread coronavirus if they send students hope, but keeping residence halls open poses its own dangers.  Top medical leaders dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak urged colleges not to close residence halls and send potentially infected students back home.  "That's the worst thing you can do,"  said Dr. Anthony Fauci, echoing the sentiments of Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, and Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  However, this presents its own challenges as college and university leaders look for ways to quarantine students who have tested positive to the virus.  The steps colleges and universities are taking to make sure they are not sending asymptomatic but infected students around their states and the country are as varied as the advice they are getting from local health officials.  The amount of testing being done on campuses also varies greatly.    The time, the money, and the logistical implications are great for all higher education institutions in preventing the spread of this dreadful virus.

Survey: 4 of 5 Students Face Disruption From Virus

Larry McKinney: Posted on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 1:57 PM


MAY 12, 2020

Students whose lives were significantly disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic may change their plans to remain or re-enroll in college. A survey from ReUP Education, a company that helps institutions retain and re-enroll students, found that only one out of five of the 678 students surveyed said they are facing no disruption from the virus. About 40 percent of those who said they are facing major disruptions are either significantly or modestly less likely to re-enroll in college.


COVID-19 Causes Concern For Fall Enrollment

Larry McKinney: Posted on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 1:58 PM


APRIL 28, 2020

As the traditional May 1 college decision day approaches, admissions leaders have been expressing concern that a significant number of students who have paid deposits promising to attend certain institutions will opt out against enrolling because of the coronavirus pandemic. Admissions officers always expect some students who told a college they planned to attend not to enroll. The phenomenon has a name--"summer melt." However, the "summer melt" is expected to be much higher for this particular year.


Canadian Federal Government Announces COVID-19 Aid Package For College Students


APRIL 24, 2020

The Canadian Federal Government has announced a $9 billion aid package for qualifying college students to help them financially weather the storm for the next few months. The benefit will pay students a minimum of $1,250 per month from May-August. Students who earn up to $1,000 per month will still be eligible for the benefit and will be able to volunteer in critical service sectors and receive additional funds.



Larry McKinney: Posted on Thursday, March 19, 2020 4:51 PM


MARCH 19, 2020

I am pleased that the Commission on Accreditation for the Association for Biblical Higher Education, the organization with whom I relate most closely in my consulting, is working with its member institutions because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most member institutions have suspended face-to-face instruction and are switching to online education for the remainder of the semester due to the threat of community spread of coronavirus. While member institutions are normally required to receive approval from the Commission on Accreditation if they offer 50 percent or more of a program via distance education, the COA supports their efforts to pursue a reasonable alternative to maintain the highest possible quality of education for their students during this emergency even if the action temporarily exceeds normal policy provisions.


Coronavirus Impacts International Programs Outside China

Larry J. McKinney: Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 2:35 PM


FEBRUARY 26, 2020

American colleges and universities are making changes in international programs in Italy, South Korea and elsewhere as the coronavirus spreads globally. Institutions are suspending operations and evacuating students, moving classes online, or warning students not to travel internationally as the global spread of the the new coronavirus begins to impact international programs in countries outside of China, where the virus first originated.


Bachelor's Degrees at Community Colleges

Larry J. McKinney: Posted on Monday, January 20, 2020 12:01 PM


JANUARY 20, 2020

More community colleges are offering bachelor's degrees, according to Community College Research Initiatives at the University of Washington. But how they are being implemented varies across the country. Twenty-three states now allow public two-year institutions to confer bachelor's degrees, but to varying degrees. Some states allow all two-year institutions to confer bachelor's degrees, while others allow some but not all, limiting the ability to confer degrees to certain institutions.


Fall Enrollments Still on the Decline

Larry J. McKinney: Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2019 3:40 PM


DECEMBER 19, 2019

Higher education enrollments for the Fall of 2019 declined for the eighth consecutive year, finds the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Overall enrollments dropped by 1.3 percent this Fall, more than 231,000 students to 17.9 million students. This was the case for all kinds of institutions: public four-years, public two-years, private non-profit four-years, and private for-profit four-years. Fifteen states, particularly in the South and West, saw enrollment increases.


The Greatest Story Ever Told

Larry McKinney: Posted on Tuesday, November 26, 2019 12:45 PM


November 26, 2019

It is beautifully described as "the greatest story ever told." It is most concisely expressed in the greatest statement ever made--John 3:16. No event in human history deserves or requires the use of as many superlatives as the birth of Jesus Christ. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

Christmas and giving are inseparable, for God established the pattern when he gave the gift of His one and only son who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and was born of a virgin.


Christian Higher Education Month

Larry J. McKinney: Posted on Monday, October 28, 2019 11:43 AM


OCTOBER 28, 2019

In 2003, the United States House of Representatives passed a resolution honoring October as Christian Higher Education Month. While 16 years have passed since this resolution was introduced, October still remains an important month as we have the opportunity to recognize hundreds of colleges and universities that are committed to Christ-centered education. I had the privilege of working with three such institutions in my career, all of which are associated with the Association for Biblical Higher Education and/or the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, and continue to develop Christian leaders for the 21st Century who can think, live, and serve effectively in the Church and the world.


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