AACRAO Research Grant

AACRAO Graduate Research Grant Program

To encourage applied research on enrollment management issues and to foster the next generation of higher education leaders. The research grant program is intended to support the pursuit of advanced degrees among AACRAO members and to stimulate thought, discussion, and research on emerging topics in higher education enrollment management.

Research Topics
The applicant selects the topic to be researched with supervision by a faculty member at his or her institution. Appropriate topics may be drawn from a wide range of subjects of interest to the AACRAO community. Applicants are not restricted to the suggested topics listed below as long as their proposals address the stated purpose of the Graduate Research Grant Program.
Major research topic areas of interest include but are not limited to the following:
  • Enrollment management
  • Recruitment and marketing
  • Admissions
  • Transfer and articulation
  • International admissions
  • Diversity, equity and access
  • Administrative information technology
  • Student services
  • Financial aid
  • Enrollment Services
  • Retention
  • Student Success
  • Federal and state policy
The AACRAO Research Advisory Board will select up to three highly qualified applicants annually to receive the award.  A stipend of $2,000 each to be used toward the completion of an advanced degree and the development of a draft academic research article.  Payments will be divided into two installments, with the final payment awarded after the AACRAO conference presentation.  The stipend is intended to be used for items such as -
  • Data analysis expertise
  • Professional editor for drafts of thesis or dissertation
  • Data collection incentives for quantitative and qualitative work and/or survey platform expense
  • Travel to the conference
The award also includes a waiver of the conference registration fee for presentation of their results at the AACRAO annual conference.

Benefits to the student
The students completing the research produced under this program will be required to present their results at the AACRAO annual conference following the awarding of the stipend.  The conference is typically held in late March or early April each year. 

In addition, the highest-quality research will be considered for publication in SEM Quarterly, the AACRAO peer-reviewed journal. To the successful students, participation at the AACRAO annual conference and potential publication in SEM Quarterly together provide an opportunity to become engaged in the AACRAO community.
Applicants and awardees must meet the following eligibility requirements:
  1. Be an active AACRAO member; and
  2. Be enrolled at an accredited institution of higher learning for the academic year in a graduate program leading to a master’s or doctoral degree; or
  3. Be enrolled in a series of graduate certificates in enrollment management at an accredited institution of higher learning. 
Proof may be required.  Eligibility status must be maintained throughout the period of the award. Candidates in master’s and doctoral programs may be evaluated separately. 
Application Instructions
To be considered for the award, complete applications must be submitted electronically by September 1st each year.  This application consists of five principal parts:  (1) Applicant Information (name, contact information); (2) Applicant Qualifications (work and/or academic experience related to proposed research); (3) Research Proposal; (4) Identification of Use of Funds; (5) a Writing Sample.

Please use this form to submit your application:
2018 application will open on May 1

Inquiries should be directed to Dr. Wendy Kilgore, AACRAO Director of Research at wendyk@aacrao.org.

Description of Proposed Research
The application includes a description (up to 500 words) of their research project.  Include project objectives, research methods, and expected outcomes.  Also indicate how this research could benefit the higher education community as well as contribute to your career goals. 

Selection Criteria and Award Notification

Final selections of award winners will be made by the AACRAO Research Advisory Board based on an evaluation of the applicant’s personal statement and academic qualifications, career goals, and significant features of the proposed research concept and plan.  Award winners will be notified each September. AACRAO requires first right of refusal for articles produced as part of the Graduate Research Award Program.  
Conditions of Award

Following selection for an award, each recipient will be offered an award agreement that will include requirements for completing their research and submission of their draft SEM Quarterly (SEMQ) Article in a timely manner. Compliance with this and other conditions, rules, and regulations governing this program is expected. 

Schedule for 2017-18
The objective of the current research program is to initiate awards by the start of the fall 2017 semester.
  • May 1, 2018 – Application submission open.
  • September 4, 2018 – Electronic submission of complete application is due.
  • September 28, 2018 – Stipend awarded to recipient(s).
  • February 1, 2019 – Draft conference presentation due.
  • May 13, 2019 – Draft SEMQ article due.

Evaluation and Selection of Award Candidates
Applicants for awards will be judged on a number of factors. They include academic qualifications (academic accomplishments, and experience), career goals, and proposed research (quality of concept, approach, and potential value to the AACRAO community. Applications will be judged on the following criteria:
  • Quality and completeness of the application and the research proposal;
  • Relevance of the research;
  • Academic and work experience;
  • Writing sample.