The Completely unofficial entirely opinion-based update on enrollment trends

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.


4 Responses

  1. Dear Dean Flagel,

    I have been reading your blog for some time, and as an educator, have a very important question I’d like to ask. I couldn’t find any link to email you, so I apologize for the off-topic comment.

    My question is this. On the essay which students have to write on college applications, is this a handwritten submission? The reason I’m asking about this is I am probably one of the last teachers who is an expert at teaching cursive writing, which we do still teach at our school (but who knows how much longer we will).

    I suspect that on handwritten submissions people cannot help but be unconsciously influenced by someone who has decent writing (whether in cursive or printing), as opposed to someone who has horrendous writing.

    As I still feel that teaching penmanship is a valuable skill, I’d like to know your thoughts on this. Are essays on applications now accepted iin typed form, or are they asked to be handwritten?

    Do you think being able to write neatly and legibly is still a valuable skill? Or has it totally fallen by the wayside these days?

    Best regards,
    Dedicated Elementary Teacher Overseas (in an American School in the Middle East)

  2. Oh, Deal Flagel,

    I forgot to include my email address:

    elementaryteacheroverseas at gmail dot com

    Or, perhaps you might like to do a brief blog post addressing this subject of handwriting, or if college admissions essays are generally still handwritten, or not?

    Best regards,
    Dedicated Elementary Teacher Overseas

  3. Pardon my ignorance, but why would a person put down deposits at two institutions? Is it because he or she genuinely can’t decide, or is he bargaining for a better offer, like a better financial aid package?

    I find it hard to believe that “double depositing” is all that common, because there are not many undecided students left, and the time for any bargaining has passed.

  4. So can you give any data on Mason’s incoming class?

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