Stacey Kostell has been appointed vice president and dean of enrollment at Northwestern University, Provost Kathleen Hagerty announced today.
Kostell currently serves as chief executive officer of the Coalition for College, an organization that helps students access resources to find a college that matches their academic, financial and social needs.
She will join Northwestern on Aug. 28, succeeding Chris Watson, who will retire after 16 years at the University.
“I am thrilled to welcome Stacey Kostell to Northwestern,” Hagerty said. “Her wealth of experience and accomplishments will help us build upon the success of the undergraduate admissions team. Stacey will be a critical leader as Northwestern continues to prioritize diversity in its student body.”
Throughout her career of more than 20 years in admissions and enrollment management, Kostell has been dedicated to expanding higher education access, prioritizing affordability and ensuring student success.
“Higher education is a life-changing experience, especially for students who are first in their family to attend college,” Kostell said. “I am constantly inspired by students, their stories of resilience, their creativity and their desire to make the world a better place. For these reasons, I am honored to join Northwestern and excited to contribute to a leadership team that considers access and affordability essential components of the enrollment strategy.”
In her current role, Kostell led the transition to a new technology partnership between the Coalition for College, Technolutions and the Scoir College Network, creating a new application process that removes barriers and provides information to traditionally underserved students.
Previously, she served in leadership positions overseeing initiatives to help students graduate on time and with limited debt at major universities in Vermont, Arizona, Indiana and Illinois. At the University of Vermont, her team successfully met enrollment goals each year. It improved academic quality and selectivity and lowered the admit rate by 8% while also increasing the yield (admitted students who actually enroll) by 35%.
“For many — especially first-generation and lower-income students — the process of applying to and paying for college can be overwhelming,” Kostell said. “So, providing resources, information and encouragement throughout the enrollment process is how I help these inspiring young people see college as part of the journey and an important element in their future success.”
A first-generation college graduate, Kostell earned her bachelor’s degree from Indiana State University and her master’s degree from Ball State University.