I think "above the fold" is the same as it has always been, the space on the web page where content is visible without having to scroll down. One difference today compared with years ago is more variation in user screen resolution, so the fold is located in a different place for your users.
I attended a seminar years ago put on by UIE (UIE.com) and they provided very convincing evidence from their research that users will scroll to view content below the fold provided the content above the fold is considered relevant or important to their purpose for being on that page. Since then, I have seen this discussion break off into 2 topics: design and content. Both are important, and ignoring one or the other can result in a page where users will not see content below the fold.
Yes, it is important to have your most important information above the fold but it is not necessary to have the entire site above the fold in my opinion. As long as the user can tell that there is more content below the fold they will look pending that the information above the fold pertains to them. Graphically speaking I feel it is important to imply to the user that the site continues past the fold. Usually I try to place important headers, sectional titles above the fold so that the user can tell what the information is past the fold. @Jessica I agree with you completely, architecture and design take a higher precedent but it is important to make sure your primary navigation is above or at least begins above the fold.
"Join us for our next webcast with Caroline Roberts from iFactory who will be providing tips on how to improve your SEO by finding and wisely using the keywords and phrases that matter most! http://bit.ly/2zhdcIt"
"I do work from home a few days a week. Depending where you're located, this would definitely be a perk. I've found plenty of higher ed jobs, but it's not often where working from home is an option. I find this odd since the higher ed…"
"Take a look at these award-winning higher ed digital marketing campaigns to see what’s working for them – and what you can implement to make your school’s digital marketing campaign one of the best. http://bit.ly/2JlzLiq"
"Do you have a plan in place to ensure your redesigned website is a success? Read our new white paper for the steps needed to successfully launch your website so that it is effective, informative, and gets noticed. http://bit.ly/2HZt73Z"
"Join us for our next webcast with Brian Johnson from Tacoma Community College for tips on how to effectively communicate the website redesign process and move to a new CMS. Win over those key players and get your project started on the right…"
"Join us for our next webcast with Angela Cavaliere from Montgomery County Community College who will discuss how to successfully navigate a website redesign in higher ed. Learn how to get buy-in from stakeholders, organize your team, and…"
"Want a pain-free website launch? Join us for our next webcast with Phil Pelanne from NewCity who will share good ideas, bad ideas, and tales from the trenches, plus his nearly 100-item QA and launch checklist! "