A comment on my last post asked what impact on enrollment the economy is having according to what I’ve been hearing from my colleagues. I’ve done a very careful, detailed study consisting of chatting with a few friends, reading comments on a few list servs, and attending meetings where the topic came up and I managed to stay awake for (most of) the discussion.
Based on this wealth of information, I can tell you that we have virtually no idea what our classes are really going to look like this fall. It’s true that many public institutions saw yield in out-of-state students dip, but I’ve spoken with several where these numbers are way up. There’s a lot of discussion about private schools taking a loss, but I’m also hearing that many schools, publics for out-of-state and privates for everyone, decided to make large discount investments to substantial portions of their admitted students in order to hold on to their student profile/mix.
There’s at least one study (and this appears to be an actual study, not this kind of lame opinion slinging) that adds even more confusion to the mix. It claims that the number of students that submitted deposits to multiple institutions is up dramatically, possibly more than double. If true, then even the numbers the schools are currently discussing are way off – another reason we really won’t know the full enrollment picture until this fall.
In case you’re wondering, Mason’s numbers are VERY strong, well over target and a big jump in profile, based on deposits. Like my colleagues, however, I’ll be holding my breath all summer to see what happens. Be seeing you.
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