Research and Publications

The USC Center for Enrollment Research, Policy and Practice (CERPP) generates original research and publications germane to issues of enrollment management in higher education.

We have categorized our research and publications in enrollment management in higher education into the following categories. Citations are provided in APA format and whenever available, we have made PDFs of the publications available for download.

  1. Admission and Access
  2. College Rankings
  3. Community College and Transfer
  4. Enrollment Management: The Profession
  5. Financial Aid
  6. Persistence and Outcomes

Research and Publications

The following research and publications are relevant to issues of admission and access in higher education, presented chronologically (most recent first) and then alphabetically by title.

Understanding the test-optional movement
Lucido, J. (2018). Understanding the test-optional movement. In J. Buckley, L. Letukas, & B. Wildavsky (Eds.), Measuring Success: Testing, grades, and the future of college admissions (pp. 145-170). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. 

Another look at equity issues
Hossler, D., Lucido, J., and Chung, E. (2017, October 23). Another look at equity issues. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved from https://www.insidehighered.com/admissions/views/2017/10/23/essay-considers-controversial-equity-issues-admissions

Insight into nonacademic factors and practice This qualitative study conducted by USC CERPP examines the use of nonacademic factors, commonly called “non-cognitive variables,” in admissions policies. The study was commissioned by The College Board for its Future Admissions Tools and Models Initiative. First, a literature review was conducted to find a suitable framework for categorizing nonacademic factors. Next, an interview protocol was conducted with chief enrollment and senior admission officers from ten four-year undergraduate institutions, ranging in terms of selectivity, public/private sector, size, and location. The findings of the study include: 1. Almost all institutions employ nonacademic factors in their admissions, but academic indicators are the most important, followed by school and personal contextual information, with nonacademic factors last 2. For the nonacademic factors, performance, attitudinal, and character constructs were the most important 3. Some instruments to measure nonacademic factors in terms of creativity, locus of control, and emotional intelligence were being deployed 4. The majority of institutions have little or no idea of the efficacy of the nonacademic factors they employ to admit students. Hossler, D., Lucido, J., Chung, E., Kwon, J., and Docking, J. (2017). Future admissions tools and models: Insight into nonacademic factors and practice. New York: The College Board.

How college admission decisions are made
A chapter by Jerry Lucido that reveals the underlying purpose of admission criteria and how they are applied in an admissions office. This detailed explanation of the admissions process has been cited extensively in an amicus brief filed by the College Board and other education organizations in the most recent Supreme Court affirmative action case, Fisher v. University of Texas (2015). Lucido, J. (2014). How college admission decisions are made. In D. Hossler & B. Bontrager (Eds.), The handbook of strategic enrollment management (pp. 147-174). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Available from http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1118819489.html

Breaking the “cruel cycle of selectivity” in admissions
Lucido, J. (2011, January 16). Breaking the “cruel cycle of selectivity” in admissions. Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from http://chronicle.com/article/Breaking-the-Cruel-Cycle-of/125935/

The case for change in college admissions: A call for individual and collective leadership
With the generous support of the Lumina Foundation for Education, the College Board, and the Spencer Foundation, the 2011 CERPP Conference brought together 180 participants and made possible this report. This report by USC CERPP draws from research and professional practice to critique the current selective college admissions system and provide corrective opportunities for greater leadership, cooperation and the curtailment of detrimental admissions practices. Wegner, G., Thacker, L., Lucido, J., & Schulz, S. (2011). The case for change in college admissions: A call for individual and collective leadership. Los Angeles, CA: USC Center for Enrollment Research, Policy and Practice.

The use of agents in recruiting Chinese undergraduates
Publication from summary paper prepared as part of CERPP research grant program Hagedorn, L. S., & Zhang, Y. L. (2011). The use of agents in recruiting Chinese undergraduates. Journal of Studies in International Education, 15(2), 186–202. Retrieved from http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1028315310385460

Who goes early?: A multi-level analysis of enrolling via early action and early decision admissions
Publication from summary paper prepared as part of CERPP research grant program Park, J. J., & Eagan Jr., M. K. (2011). Who goes early?: A multi-level analysis of enrolling via early action and early decision admissions. Teachers College Record, 113(11). Retrieved from http://www.tcrecord.org/Content.asp?ContentId=16103

Readiness and transition: Beyond opening doors
Lucido, J.A., & Schulz, S.A. (2010). Readiness and transition: Beyond opening doors. In M. Harris (Ed.), College Bound Strategies for Access and Success for Low-Income Students (pp. 7-15). Los Angeles, CA: University of Southern California.

Senioritis: Minor affliction or serious disease?
Lucido, J. (2010, February 16). Senioritis: Minor affliction or serious disease? Washington Post. Retrieved from http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/college-admissions/senioritis-minor-afflictionor.html

Why students get rejected from college
Lucido, J. (2010, March 26). Why students get rejected from college. Washington Post. Retrieved from http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/college-admissions/college-rejection-its-notabou.html

Cascading in higher education: Investigating the impact of institutional stratification on educational opportunity in America
Summary paper as part of CERPP research grant program Bastedo, M. N., Jaquette, O., & Harris, N. F. (2009). Cascading in higher education: Investigating the impact of institutional stratification on educational opportunity in America (USC Center for Enrollment Research, Policy, and Practice report).

Joe, Mauricio, and the public interest
Lucido, J.A., & Schapiro, M.O. (2009, February 13). Joe, Mauricio, and the public interest. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved from http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2009/02/13/lucido

Los estudiantes migrantes y educación / Migrant students and education
Summary paper as part of CERPP research grant program Gildersleeve, R. E. (2009). Los estudiantes migrantes y educación / Migrant students and education (USC Center for Enrollment Research, Policy and Practice report).

Red light, green light: The impact of signals on the college aspirations of urban high school students of color
Summary paper as part of CERPP research grant program Tuitt, F. A., & Van Horn, B. N. (2009). Red light, green light: The impact of signals on the college aspirations of urban high school students of color (USC Center for Enrollment Research, Policy and Practice report).
The following research and publications are relevant to issues of college rankings in higher education, presented chronologically (most recent first) and then alphabetically by title.

Positioning for prestige in American higher education: Case studies of strategies at four public institutions toward “Getting to the next level”
Summary paper prepared as part of CERPP research grant program
Toma, J. D. (2009). Positioning for prestige in American higher education: Case studies of strategies at four public institutions toward “Getting to the next level” (USC Center for Enrollment Research, Policy and Practice report).
The following research and publications are relevant to issues of community college and transfer in higher education, presented chronologically (most recent first) and then alphabetically by title.

The effects of financial aid on college success of two-year beginning nontraditional students
Chen, J., & Hossler, D. (2016). The effects of financial aid on college success of two-year beginning nontraditional students. Research in Higher Education, 1-37. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11162-016-9416-0

Securing the future: Retention models in community college (Study of Community College Structures for Student Success, SCCSSS)
Informed by existing theory and research on student success, the four-year project was used as a model and a springboard for a systematic approach to understanding institutional policies and practices that affect student persistence at two-year schools. In collaboration with the College Board and the Project on Academic Success at Indiana University, USC CERPP conducted a national survey of community college administrators on community college structures and policies that enhance student persistence, transfer and completion that was completed in 2011. The report includes the results of the survey and a guide of promising practices for community college leaders and practitioners.
Ziskin, M., Lucido, J., Zerquera, D., Chung, E., Torres, V., Cuellar, M., & Hossler, D. (2012). Securing the future: Retention models in community college (Study of Community College Structures for Student Success, SCCSSS). New York, NY: The College Board.

Over 40 percent: Asian Americans and the road(s) to community colleges Summary paper as part of CERPP research grant program
Park, J. J. (2010). Over 40 percent: Asian Americans and the road(s) to community colleges (USC Center for Enrollment Research, Policy and Practice report).

The road less traveled: Factors affecting community college transfer admission to a flagship university
Summary paper as part of CERPP research grant program
Martinez, R. M. (2009). The road less traveled: Factors affecting community college transfer admission to a flagship university (USC Center for Enrollment Research, Policy and Practice report).
The following research and publications are relevant to issues of enrollment management as a profession in higher education, presented chronologically (most recent first) and then alphabetically by title.

Lessons from the NFL for managing college enrollment
The Center for American Progress (CAP) released a policy paper by Jerry Lucido on university and college enrollment management practices and goals, and how competition should be tempered as in the NFL.
Lucido, J. A. (2013). Lessons from the NFL for managing college enrollment. Washington, DC: Center for American Progress.

Seeking the admission hybrid: Response to Gatekeepers or marketers: Reclaiming the educational role of chief admission officers
Lucido, J. A. (2012). Seeking the admission hybrid: Response to “Gatekeepers or marketers: Reclaiming the educational role of chief admission officers.” Journal of College Admission, 118, 101. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ992756.pdf

Enrollment Management, Inc.: External Influences on Our Practice
Schulz, S.A., & Lucido, J.A. (2011). Enrollment management, Inc.: External influences on our practice. Los Angeles, CA: USC Center for Enrollment Research, Policy and Practice.

What enrollment management structures reveal about institutional priorities
Schulz, S.A., & Lucido, J.A. (2011). What enrollment management structures reveal about institutional priorities. Enrollment Management Journal: Student Access, Finance, and Success in Higher Education, 5(4), 12-44. Retrieved from https://www.tgslc.org/pdf/emj-w11.pdf

Who we are: An in-depth look at the educational backgrounds, career paths, and development needs of chief admission officers and enrollment managers
This qualitative study was conducted by USC CERPP with over fifty chief enrollment and chief admissions officers within a diverse national group of colleges and universities explores the educational and professional backgrounds of enrollment professionals, as well as the groups that inform their practice. It also assesses, from a structural standpoint, motivations for and against the centralization of enrollment systems, and the pros and cons of various enrollment models in place. By analyzing findings from interviews with a variety of enrollment and admission officers located throughout the United States, this study enhances our collective knowledge of enrollment professionals, their external influences, and organizational models that can profoundly influence how institutions of higher education serve students and society.
Schulz, S.A., & Lucido, J.A. (2011). Who we are: An in-depth look at the educational backgrounds, career paths, and development needs of chief admission officers and enrollment managers. The Journal of College Admission, 211, 14-20. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ926819.pdf
The following research and publications are relevant to issues of financial aid in higher education, presented chronologically (most recent first) and then alphabetically by title.

Does federal financial aid policy influence the institutional aid policies of four-year colleges and universities?
Hossler, D., & Kwon, J. (2015). Does federal financial aid policy influence the institutional aid policies of four-year colleges and universities? An exploratory analysis. Journal of Student Financial Aid, 45(3), 49-64. Retrieved from http://publications.nasfaa.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1589&context=jsfa

Institutional merit-based aid and student departure: A longitudinal analysis
Gross, J., Hossler, D. Ziskin, M.  & Berry, M. S. (2015). Institutional merit-based aid and student departure: A longitudinal analysis. Review of Higher Education, 38(2), 221-249. Retrieved from https://muse.jhu.edu/article/563938/summary

Looking under the hood 2.0: How institutions are using the AGB/NACUBO student aid tool
Hossler, D. and Johnson, D. B. (2015). Looking under the hood 2.0: How institutions are using the AGB/NACUBO student aid tool. Association of Governing Boards Reports, 27-30. Retrieved from https://www.agb.org/trusteeship/2015/novemberdecember/looking-under-the-hood-20-how-institutions-are-using-the-agbnacubo

The effect of participating in Indiana’s Twenty-first Century Scholars Program on college enrollment
Toutkoushian, R., Hossler, D., DesJardins, S., McCall, B., & Canche, M. (2015). The effect of participating in Indiana’s Twenty-first Century Scholars Program on college enrollment. Review of Higher Education, 39(1), 59-95. Retrieved from http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/review_of_higher_education/v039/39.1.toutkoushian.html

An exploration into the role of social trust as a mediating influence in low-income Latino/a college financing decisions
Summary paper as part of CERPP research grant program
McDonough, P., & Calderone, S. (2010). An exploration into the role of social trust as a mediating influence in low-income Latino/a college financing decisions (USC Center for Enrollment Research, Policy and Practice report).

Competing risks or different pathways? An event history analysis of the relationship between financial aid and educational outcomes for Latinos
Summary paper as part of CERPP research grant program
Gross, J., & Torres, V. (2010). Competing risks or different pathways? An event history analysis of the relationship between financial aid and educational outcomes for Latinos (USC Center for Enrollment Research, Policy and Practice report).

Enrollment management and financial aid: A multipart series
Kalsbeek, D. H., & Hossler, D. (2008). Enrollment management and financial aid: A multipart series. College and University, 84(1), 2-11. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxylocal.library.nova.edu/docview/225593453?accountid=6579
The following research and publications are relevant to issues of student persistence, institutional retention, and success and outcomes in higher education, presented chronologically (most recent first) and then alphabetically by title.

The institutional role in student retention
Ziskin, M., Lucido, J., Gross, J., Hossler, D., Chung, E., & Torres, V. (2014). The institutional role in student retention. In D. Hossler & B. Bontrager (Eds.), The handbook of strategic enrollment management (pp. 351-374). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Available from http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1118819489.html

How four-year colleges and universities organize themselves to promote student persistence: The emerging national picture
In collaboration with the College Board and the Project on Academic Success at Indiana University, USC CERPP conducted research that examines how, and to what depth, colleges and universities organize themselves to promote student persistence and graduation rates. In 2009, the research team administered the College Board Survey of Institutional Retention Practices to over 1,400 four-year institutions nationwide. Data and findings from this study focus on the structures institutions have in place to enhance student persistence, as well as early alert practices and other approaches institutions use in planning and assessing retention efforts.
Hossler, D., Lucido, J., Ziskin, M., Schulz, S., & Dadashova, A. (2011). How four-year colleges and universities organize themselves to promote student persistence: The emerging national picture. New York, NY: The College Board.

How colleges organize themselves to increase student persistence: Four-year institutions
College Board. The College Board Study on Student Retention (2009). How colleges organize themselves to increase student persistence: Four-year institutions.

Low-income student persistence to timely graduation as a function of the academic experience
Summary paper as part of CERPP research grant program
Johnson, T., & Collins, S. (2009). Low-income student persistence to timely graduation as a function of the academic experience (USC Center for Enrollment Research, Policy and Practice report).

Funders

We gratefully acknowledge the funders who have supported our research and publications:

  • College Board
  • Lumina Foundation
  • Spencer Foundation