Managing Admissions Records and the Law

Admissions, enrollment, and records personnel often make or participate in the initial decisions that can lead to litigation. Accordingly, it is in the interest of the college that these personnel understand the law and take appropriate preventive actions. This series of essays is designed to educate and inform admissions, enrollment , and records administrators and staff about the legal implications of decisions they make.
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This series of essays is designed to educate and inform admissions, enrollment, and records administrators and staff about the legal implications of decisions they make. Knowing the law and adopting preventive measures is the best way to cope with the law to prevent legal challenges and reduce exposure.

Admissions, enrollment, and records personnel often make or participate in the initial decisions that can lead to litigation. For example, admissions personnel may be the first contact with a potential student; they talk with parents and make promises and respond to questions; and they review and accept records. In sum, admissions and records personnel make decisions that significantly contribute to the quality of students that the college serves.

As a matter of law, the college generally is responsible and liable for the acts of its employees, including members of the admissions and records staff. In relatively few instances are these personnel personally liable, even if they are named in a lawsuit.

In all of their roles-counselor, recruiter, and decision maker-admissions and records personnel make critical decisions that can generate litigation. Accordingly, it is in the interest of the college that these personnel understand the law and take appropriate preventive actions.

This manual focuses on the following topics:

  • Colleges and the Constitution

  • Consumerism: Malpractice, Contract Violations, and Fraud

  • Recruitment Misrepresentation and Negligent Admissions

  • The College Catalogue and Changing Policies

  • Fraudulent Applications, Credentials, and Degree Revocation

  • Admissions Criteria: Sex, Age, and Race

  • Disabled Students and the Admissions Process

  • Minority Scholarships

  • Disclosure and Retention of Student Records

  • Campus Safety: Parent and Student Expectations

Each of these essays is presented with a common format: Overview; Application; and Preventive Measures. A Selected Bibliography follows each topic.