Donald Hossler

Donald Hossler


The Interconnectedness of Issues Confronting Four Year Colleges
in the Area of Admissions, Transparency, and Equity: Ethical Considerations

September 28, 2020 (Monday)


Our decentralized system of admissions is broken. Critiques of the way we determine academic merit are intensifying. Yet many institutions award financial aid based on our concepts of merit. More institutions are adopting test optional and holistic review admissions policies. However, we are not discussing how these changes will influence transparency in our decentralized admissions system. Yet transparency is what low- and moderate-income families need.
Additionally, dramatic changes are afoot in the number and composition of traditional age high school graduates. An increasing number of students are price- and debt-averse. Against this backdrop, tuition discounting schemes—that influence tuition costs—are difficult to discuss and reverse because fears of federal lawsuits. Finally, the Varsity Blues scandal demonstrates how money can buy admission to elite institutions. The scandal has also drawn renewed attention to inequities in legacy and early decision admissions schemes


Don Hossler is a Senior Scholar at the Center for Enrollment Research, Policy, and Practice in the Rossier School of Education, at the University of Southern California. Hossler holds the rank of Distinguished Provost Professor Emeritus in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. He has also served as vice chancellor for student enrollment services, executive associate dean of the School of Education. In addition, he is the founding executive director of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Hossler’s areas of specialization include college choice, student persistence, student financial aid policy, and enrollment management. He has authored or co-authored 23 books and scholarly reports, more than 100 articles and book chapters, and about 200 paper presentations and invited lectures. He has consulted with more than 50 colleges, universities, and educational organizations. He has lived in Russia and has conducted research in postsecondary education there and also in China. Hossler has received career achievement awards for his research, scholarship, and service from the American College Personnel Association, the Association for Institutional Research, the College Board, and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. In 2015 he was named a Provost Professor and received the Sonneborn Award for Outstanding Research and Teaching from Indiana University Bloomington. This is the highest award the Bloomington campus awards to its faculty members for a distinguished career of research and teaching.