Archives—September 2015

Different Types of Education Debt

There are no shortage of news stories citing that student borrowing (nationally) has surpassed $1.1 trillion. That figure covers every loan from private for-profit trade schools, to community colleges, to non-profit, to public, to grad schools. Borrowing covers education for skills/degrees ranging from beauticians to cardiac surgeons.

A comprehensive study released by Brookings, looks at the characteristics of borrowers, the institutions they attended, and how that contributed to rising loan default rates that are so much a part of the news. Continue reading

Higher Ed Marketing is Playing Catch Up

Higher Ed marketing is playing catch up. Administrators are figuring out what the business world already has—brand is just as important as the product.

With more than 2,500 universities and colleges in the United States—it’s clear prospective students have options.

So how does a college stand out? The answer: a memorable brand. A brand that connects.

Michigan Tech is looking inward by developing its brand to clearly understand the It Factor that attracted 1,277 new undergrad Huskies this year.

What is a brand anyway? And how does it fit into higher education?

A brand is the emotional connection our audience has with what we offer as a university. Conveying that message is the tricky part. It has to be simple and flexible for all departments, organizations, and units to effectively use. Continue reading

Industry Demand for Top Talent Continues to Rise

“The key is that employers can no longer afford to improvise when it comes to attracting and retaining talent to meet the aggressive demands for business growth at most companies. Rather, employers need to get serious about establishing a data-driven compensation strategy to meet their talent needs now and into the future” (Attack of the out-of-date comp plan,

According to survey results from, 81% of industry is rushing to create a formal compensation strategy. With 73% seeing increased revenues, 89% are providing raises to retain top talent. Over 60% of the companies are worried about retaining top talent while similar results illustrate their anxiety to attract top talent coming out of the college pipeline. Companies are turning to active use of bonuses and a renewed focus on professional development and learning opportunities for their employees. Continue reading

Putting the Pieces Together

Undergraduate recruitment is like a giant jigsaw puzzle. Fun, challenging, frustrating, and gratifying when all the pieces come together. The only problem with the recruitment puzzle is that the final picture isn’t always clear. Here at Michigan Tech, we have several directives: recruit smarter students, more students, more female students, more students interested in STEM, more non-STEM students, more diverse students.

Despite all of this—or perhaps because of it—we welcomed the largest incoming class this fall since 2008. In addition, we had the highest number of applications in University history, the highest number of applications from female and minority students, and enrolled the highest percentage of female students in the incoming class in Tech’s history (28% if you’re curious; up from 19% in 2005). Continue reading

ROI on Higher Education

While return on educational investment (ROI) is not everything students and parents look for when they select an institution, it’s certainly more top of mind than it used to be. Payscale has a new interactive webpage to compare 20 year ROI against student loan debt upon graduation. Here I’ve filtered the scatterplot to show only research institution and noted a few stand-outs against Michigan Tech.