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Despite worries the recession would disrupt students' college choices, several top US schools are reporting relatively unchanged levels in the number of admitted applicants committing themselves to attending in the fall. Yields at Harvard, Yale, and Wesleyan Universities are about the same as they were this time last year. Stable commitment levels are being attributed to increases in financial aid budgets. Up to 65% of incoming first-year students at Harvard could receive direct, needs-based scholarships, up from 58% for the current freshman class. In response, the university expects to boost its undergraduate financial aid budget by $9 million. New York Times (subscription required)

Commitment levels unchanged at top US colleges Top Ten Wed, 05/13/2009 - 17:39

Broadcasting students at Mount Royal College have developed some recruitment videos for the institution following a challenge put out by the college's recruitment marketing committee. One video, spoofing dating site e-Harmony's commercial campaign, details one student's infatuation with the institution. The videos are available on Mount Royal's YouTube channel. Mount Royal News | MountRoyal4U

Mount Royal broadcasting students produce recruitment videos Top Ten Tue, 05/12/2009 - 17:17

Course-management software firm Blackboard Inc. announced last Wednesday an agreement to acquire ANGEL Learning Inc. for approximately $95 million. In the short term, the combined company will continue to sell ANGEL Learning's software as a separate product, while in the future the best features of ANGEL will be folded into Blackboard software. The deal is expected to close at the end of the month. Blackboard News Release | Washington Post | The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

Blackboard to purchase ANGEL Learning Top Ten Mon, 05/11/2009 - 17:00
1 is a database developed by an Indiana-based marketing firm that lists over 3,500 US college and university taglines. Created a decade ago, the site is now open to any school wanting to add its own tagline or correct the one attributed by the database. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) |

US marketing firm hosts database of institutional taglines Top Ten Fri, 05/08/2009 - 15:30

On Wednesday, Inc. introduced Kindle DX, a wide-format electronic-book reader. The company plans to work with a number of US universities on a pilot project featuring Kindles loaded with textbooks.  With over 80% of college students owning laptops onto which electronic versions of more than half of major textbooks can be downloaded, there is scepticism students would want to purchase and carry around Kindles for textbooks. Lack of awareness of e-textbook services and failed pilot projects with other e-book readers are leading experts to wonder how successful Amazon's new product will be. Wall Street Journal | The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

Amazon hopes to revolutionize textbook market with new Kindle Top Ten Thu, 05/07/2009 - 17:24

Despite Twitter's immense growth, the microblogging site is struggling to retain users, according to figures from Nielsen Online. The company reports that Twitter's month-to-month retention rate is just 40%. Prior to recent celebrity attention, the rate was below 30%. The research indicates there are not enough new users to make up for defecting ones. With its current retention rate, Twitter can expect to reach a maximum of only 10% of Internet users. Nielsen Online blog | Marketing Magazine | eMarketer | CBC

Twitter has trouble retaining users Top Ten Wed, 05/06/2009 - 17:25

When it comes to using Twitter, colleges and universities should place authenticity before marketing, as Web 2.0 is about having personality and inspiring conversation, writes Heather Mansfield in University Business. Because Twitter is about conversation, it is important to follow everyone who follows you. Schools should provide value to followers, not chitchat. Don't treat Twitter as an RSS for news releases unless you have a specific news account. Mansfield recommends having separate accounts for news, admissions, alumni, etc. Given that the vast majority of Twitter users are over 35, Twitter has potential for engaging alumni and recruiting non-traditional students. University Business

Tips for using Twitter in higher education Top Ten Tue, 05/05/2009 - 17:21

In recent weeks, at least 14 American colleges, many of which are relatively young or low-profile, have received unsolicited, anonymous gifts, fuelling interest from major news outlets. Why were these schools chosen? Where is the money coming from? Why is anonymity so important? The story has highlighted the tricky balance development offices must strike between taking advantage of the positive media attention while respecting the donor's request to be unidentified. The president of the University of Iowa Foundation has refused an interview with ABC, and says it would be a shame for the media to uncover the elusive philanthropist's identity. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

Flurry of anonymous gifts in US fuels media frenzy Top Ten Mon, 05/04/2009 - 17:23

Memorial University has announced the winners of its third annual "Rant Like Rick" competition. Elizabeth Hann, a grade 12 student from St. John's, won the $10,000 grand prize for her rant focusing on the drama surrounding high school graduation. Grade 11 student Melanie Hoskins, also of St. John's, and Stacy Gagnidze, a high school senior from Calgary, earned the runner-up prizes of free tuition for 2 semesters at MUN for their videos. Hoskins ranted about the lack of trans-Atlantic air service in Newfoundland, and Gagnidze commented on Prime Minister Stephen Harper's hair. MUN News Release | Rant Like Rick 2009 Winners

MUN names "Rant Like Rick" contest winners Top Ten Fri, 05/01/2009 - 15:37

According to a recent study from UCLA, female graduates of same-sex schools display stronger academic orientations than their coeducational counterparts. Drawing on data from the annual Freshman Survey, the report found that those who attended all-girls schools demonstrate higher levels of academic engagement, SAT scores, and confidence in math and computer abilities than females who graduated from coeducational high schools. The report also found that all-girl school graduates are more likely to show confidence in public speaking, be politically engaged, and participate in student clubs while in college. UCLA News Release | Read the full report

All-girl school graduates more academically inclined than coed grads Top Ten Thu, 04/30/2009 - 16:40