There have been accelerated declines in college enrollment since the pandemic. According to the National Student Clearinghouse, completion of bachelor’s degrees has fallen for the first time in 10 years – down by 1.6%.
Indianapolis-based Lumina Foundation states, “Now is the time to fundamentally reimagine admissions, enrollment, and financial aid systems to serve today’s students better.” To that end, Lumina is challenging stakeholders to come up with solutions to support potential students by simplifying the admissions process.
“COVID, changing testing policies, and the Supreme Court’s recent rulings on admissions practices are causing once-in-a-generation upheaval within college admissions,” says Melanie Heath, Lumina’s strategy director, in a statement.
“These conditions create an opportunity for rethinking admissions. Now is the time to reimagine how colleges connect with – and better serve – today’s students.”
Through The Great Admissions Redesign, Lumina will be accepting applications from:
- State agencies and quasi-public organizations
- State systems of higher education that include public bachelor’s-granting universities or colleges
- A group of three or more public or private nonprofit institutions that includes at least one public or private bachelor’s-granting institution.
Lumina will select potential grantees to submit full grant proposals based on their ability to demonstrate “a clear outline of how the proposed project will increase college opportunities for students of color, students from low-income families, and first-generation students.” Additionally, offer a “clear explanation of how the project will reduce complexity in admissions and enrollment processes.” And demonstrate innovation by explaining “the extent to which the project reimagines how students are admitted and enrolled.”
Lumina will be awarding various grants totaling nearly $3 million to institutions that are in the early development stages of redesigning their admissions, enrollment, and financial aid processes – as well as those that have already done existing work in these areas.
The initial submissions for The Great Admissions Redesign are due by October 6 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. An informational webinar for interested stakeholders is scheduled for September 12 at 12:00 p.m. EDT. Registration is required.