In response to pressure from the U.S. Department of Justice, the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) made significant changes to its Code of Ethics and Professional Practice.
On September 28, 2019, NACAC delegates voted to remove ethical provisions that the Justice Department warned may violate antitrust laws. Inside Higher Ed reported, “The Justice Department believes that with these rules, colleges are colluding to take away student choices.”
The struck provisions mean colleges may now begin offering incentives for early decision applications. They may now recruit students who have committed to or enrolled at other schools. And they may solicit transfer applications from previous years’ prospect pools.
The question becomes: How will the removal of guardrails affect the ways colleges and universities recruit your students? Will old behaviors carry forward? Or are we at the dawn of a no-holds-barred era in student recruitment?
“Nothing shakes our principles,” said Vice President for Enrollment Management Bill Motzer. “For Nebraska Wesleyan, our approach to ethical recruitment has always been rooted in much more than NACAC policies. It’s about the principles lived out within our institution. At NWU, students come first. And this policy change, as significant as it sounds, will not deter our commitment to students.”
Motzer continued, “Despite the seeming chaos, I know the same can be true for NACAC and our shared profession. We can carry on in our ethical work so long as we put our values and our students above the technicalities of any changing policy. I’m confident a focus on our mission, our values and our students will see us through all challenges. Nebraska Wesleyan remains committed to its core values and the intellectual growth and success of our students.”