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Handbook for Student Law for Higher Education Administrators, Third Edition

Series:

James Ottavio Castagnera

The Handbook for Student Law for Higher Education Administrators, Third Edition is a practical tool, intended for administrators dealing with students in higher education, focusing principally on four-year institutions. Addressing the ever-evolving relationship between higher education and the law, the book will provide the academic administrator with the means to knowledgably and confidently navigate the many legal threats and challenges facing colleges today. Focused on the "hot" issues in higher education today, and using examples from real cases and scenarios from many institutions, the handbook provides sample policies, checklists, and advice that administrators can apply to a wide variety of situations, both preventatively and proactively. The Handbook for Student Law for Higher Education Administrators, Third Edition is a compendium of practical knowledge and guidance, useful to all administrators dealing with the legal minefield that is higher education.

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Chapter 1: Admissions

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ADMISSIONS

Let’s begin at the beginning. Our principal enterprise, our main mission, is delivering education to our students. The relationship of a college or university to its students is complex and may be fraught at times with high emotion. These emotional attachments, if positive, often carry over into later life. Indeed, the health of the institution may depend on this and, so, we encourage it.

No matter. In the eyes of the law, at its core the relationship is contractual. The contract is formed when the institution offers the applicant admission into its hallowed halls and the applicant accepts.

So let’s begin at the beginning, examining the steps in the typical admissions cycle and the legal issues that underlie our efforts at attracting prospective students.

Advertising and Marketing the Institution

Baby-boomers, such as your author, can recall an era in which colleges responded to student inquiries with a catalogue, a cover letter and an application form. Many guidance counselors performed their role “out of their back ← 15 | 16 → pockets,” so to speak. Their “real” job was assistant principal, school disciplinarian, or classroom teacher. Students applied to a school or two, three or four at the outside, and sometimes seriously considered the armed forces, beauty or secretarial school, or a parents’ (often unionized) trade as a viable alternative.

Times have changed. As outlined in the Introduction, today’s higher education landscape is populated (some...

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