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University of Cincinnati Expects Record Enrollment in Fall 2017
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CliftonAve Online
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University of Cincinnati Expects Record Enrollment in Fall 2017
http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2017/06/15/university-cincinnati-expects-record-enrollment-fall-2017/393499001/

The University of Cincinnati will see its largest incoming freshmanclass this fall and potentially its largest undergraduate enrollment in school history.

Caroline Miller, vice provost for enrollment management, expects to see about 5,400 first-year students at the Clifton campus and more than 45,000 total students at all three local campuses. This year would be the fifth consecutive overall enrollment record for UC.

It may only be a couple hundred more students on campus, but the growth is a trend that UC has experienced consistently over the last 10 years.

Why is UC growing?

Targeted recruiting efforts and “better” applicants are at the core of UC’s growth, according to Miller.
•More Ohio students are choosing UC.

They're coming from cities like Columbus, Dayton and Cleveland, from feeder high schools in UC’s backyard and transferring from local community colleges like Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.
•UC is targeting out-of-state students.

UC made a conscious effort to attract more out-of-state students a few years ago with regional recruiters in Chicago, Dallas and the Washington, D.C., area. Now, they're seeing the effect.

Miller said out-of-state and international students provide a level of geographic diversity for UC and some financial stability since they pay more.

“Our students are graduating and becoming professionals in an increasingly global and mobile world,” Miller said. “Having some exposure to that while they’re here learning is important.”
•A stronger, more diverse pool of college-ready students are applying to UC.

The students who are now applying to UC's Clifton campus are more prepared for college and have lots of options, which Miller said has made a huge difference in the applicant pool.

UC is making more offers while maintaining its standards. The university admitted students under the same criteria as last year, which brought in UC's "smartest" freshman class by official measures.

More: Are college freshman really getting smarter each year?

The academic profiles of students this year are similar. Confirmed new students boast an average 25.7 ACT, a 3.57 GPA and a 1216 SAT score.

More students accepted UC's offer than ever before, Miller said, because for 90 percent of first-year students UC was their first choice.

What it means for UC

Too much growth too fast can be dangerous, Miller said. And the whole university must react in order to support every student it admits.

That includes:
•Keeping classes at the right size to support learning.
•Making sure academic advising loads are manageable and tutoring is available.
•Partnering with developers around the university for housing options.
•Assessing course offerings to ensure faculty are prepared to teach those classes.
•Potentially extending hours or adding locations for food services.
•Reviewing construction and maintenance of campus buildings.


The growth also impacts public safety, including where officers patrol, what education UCPD provides to students and its staff-to-student ratio.

How much is UC trying to grow?

It's unclear.

Growth is inevitable at UC if it wants to maintain the campus resources and services it currently provides, Miller said – in part because of the financial pressures of frozen tuition and rising costs.

“Growth is in our future, it’s just where do we want to grow and how do we manage that growth,” Miller said. “It probably can’t be all in the neighborhood of 18-year-old first-time college students.”

More: UC President Pinto's strategy in leading the university

Enrollment projections are based on confirmations, housing reservations and orientation participation. UC will know exactly how much its student body has grown by mid-September, after classes have started
.
 
(This post was last modified: 06-15-2017 12:51 PM by CliftonAve.)
06-15-2017 12:48 PM
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BearcatMan Online
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RE: University of Cincinnati Expects Record Enrollment in Fall 2017
They seem to fail to mention that College Credit Plus (a mandatory HS dual enrollment program with an extremely high level of student interest) is also included in student headcount. Regardless, this is good news.
 
06-15-2017 01:08 PM
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Bruce Monnin Online
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RE: University of Cincinnati Expects Record Enrollment in Fall 2017
Just read that Wright State University is having a financial crisis due to recent overspending and the second year in a row of a 5% drop in the size of the incoming freshman class.

Also saw Bowling Green was VERY happy that their enrollment did not drop either this year or last.

For UC to have enrollment growing is bucking the statewide trend.
 
06-15-2017 01:26 PM
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CliftonAve Online
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RE: University of Cincinnati Expects Record Enrollment in Fall 2017
(06-15-2017 01:26 PM)Bruce Monnin Wrote:  Just read that Wright State University is having a financial crisis due to recent overspending and the second year in a row of a 5% drop in the size of the incoming freshman class.

Also saw Bowling Green was VERY happy that their enrollment did not drop either this year or last.

For UC to have enrollment growing is bucking the statewide trend.

In addition to Wright State, Akron is having a steep decline in enrollment over a financial crisis as well. Kent, Cleveland State and Youngstown State have seen some growth the past couple of years as a result.
 
06-15-2017 01:43 PM
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RE: University of Cincinnati Expects Record Enrollment in Fall 2017
Sounds like some good news for UC but I also know admissions stats are merely putty to be shaped into the message you wish to deliver. So, what bad news is hiding behind the good news?

I know we have a few higher-ed experts on the board. I'd love to hear some opinions.
 
06-15-2017 01:48 PM
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Bearcat 1985 Offline
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RE: University of Cincinnati Expects Record Enrollment in Fall 2017
Like the push for more OOS students. When you remove the reciprocal tuition students from the metro area, UC has only 5% true out of state students. That needs to change.

Also, I think the quality numbers push us past OU into third place on the Ohio food chain.
 
06-15-2017 01:56 PM
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CliftonAve Online
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RE: University of Cincinnati Expects Record Enrollment in Fall 2017
(06-15-2017 01:56 PM)Bearcat 1985 Wrote:  Like the push for more OOS students. When you remove the reciprocal tuition students from the metro area, UC has only 5% true out of state students. That needs to change.

Also, I think the quality numbers push us past OU into third place on the Ohio food chain.

I wonder if UC can take advantage of Louisville's accreditation issues to game some additional enrollment from the Commonwealth.

Seems like have been recruiting Illinois hard, think we should look towards Missouri as well as they have their own issues.
 
(This post was last modified: 06-15-2017 02:01 PM by CliftonAve.)
06-15-2017 02:00 PM
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RE: University of Cincinnati Expects Record Enrollment in Fall 2017
As a higher-ed professional, the spin on this is interesting. Growth is definitely important, but so is retention. It's easy to put out these numbers and feel good about UC's prospects, but at the same time, some additional information would paint a much clearer picture.

Other pieces of information that would have been helpful:
- 1st year retention rate (from the previous year)
- 5-6 year graduation rate
- Enrollment numbers into which college? Is engineering growing? DAAP? A&S? Business? Where are all of these students going?

It's one thing to keep growing, but it's an entirely different story about the success of the university to see these numbers broken down.

For example, I currently work for Texas A&M - they have a huge amount of growth the past couple of years for their on-campus student body and a large proportion of those students are going into engineering. Part of this was a Texas wide recommendation that Texas (as a state) needs more engineers. The other part is TAMU's goal of having 25,000 students in the engineering college (not sure if that is solely undergrads or if that is a combination of all types of engineering students).

The point being - what are UC's growth goals? And are those goals connected to initiatives that will continue to raise the bar for the university? Or are they just a numbers race.

I also used to work at Middle Tennessee State University - now THAT is an example of a school that just sought enrollment numbers but didn't have the services to support the students. Although they were, at the time, the largest public university in the state of Tennessee, they had horrible retention numbers and graduation rates.

We need UC to have smart growth - which I think they are doing - but we also need more information to understand what is truly going on.
 
06-15-2017 02:24 PM
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RE: University of Cincinnati Expects Record Enrollment in Fall 2017
(06-15-2017 01:43 PM)CliftonAve Wrote:  
(06-15-2017 01:26 PM)Bruce Monnin Wrote:  Just read that Wright State University is having a financial crisis due to recent overspending and the second year in a row of a 5% drop in the size of the incoming freshman class.

Also saw Bowling Green was VERY happy that their enrollment did not drop either this year or last.

For UC to have enrollment growing is bucking the statewide trend.

In addition to Wright State, Akron is having a steep decline in enrollment over a financial crisis as well. Kent, Cleveland State and Youngstown State have seen some growth the past couple of years as a result.

BearcatSeminole makes a very good point RE: retention. Many schools can get away with reporting growth overall, while actually having smaller input classes every year, it's just how you coordinate the data...they cannot falsify retention data, that stuff is clear as day.

I currently work at another public institution in the State of Ohio as an administration level staff member within their Division of Undergraduate Admission (I'm being purposely vague to ensure everything is communicated fairly here). The truth of the matter is that there are only three schools in Ohio who have increased the first-time, full-time Direct from High School freshmen classes in the past half decade or so (DHS for short from here on out). Those schools are Cincinnati, Ohio State, and Cleveland State. The others report an increase despite not truly increasing due to haven campuses (Kent, BGSU, OU, Miami U) or CCP programs (every single one of the state publics must participate and report without differentiation of status, so the numbers can be fuddled up big time depending on student participation).

Kent State is by far the biggest perpetrator of the "haven" campus model (outside of Ohio State, although for much different reasons). KSU has had increases in each of the past seven years due to their inordinate amount of branch campuses (7 at last count). The are fulfilling their enrollment goals by lumping their enrollment into one pool rather than by institution like Ohio State has done with their Lima, Mansfield, Marion, and Newark campuses. What that means is, they're adding low quality, high risk students to their branches and claiming a headcount increase for the flat funding BUT they hide their terrible retention in those specific campuses in order to increase the per-retention funding (their branches have retention around 60% whereas the Kent campus is right about 78% now and that's where the funding comes from). Basically, schools with models like this are being extremely predatory in offering an opportunity to unqualified students, then not reporting these students when they fail out...despite still taking their money and adding to their loan backload.

Cincinnati does not do this nearly as much, though with the expansion of the UC East/Clermont County Campus it does seem likely that they may try. Their retention is in what I would consider the "second teir" at the mid-80%'s, below the reported 90+% rates of Miami and Ohio State, but well above the mid to upper 70%'s reported by Toledo, BGSU, KSU, UA, and OU, and WAY above the municipal schools at the moment. They're in a good position, and as of the last report I received their student quality is up as well, sitting in the upper third of incoming college students nationwide, which is where they want to be.

The truth of the matter is that the funding model proposed by Governor Kasich is going to put all but the upper 4 institutions in the state into financial ruin very quickly unless contingencies are put in place simply because there are a finite number of high-retention students in the state (and that number is not growing). The other funding nightmare is College Credit Plus, which forces colleges to charge a cut rate for any high school or MIDDLE SCHOOL!? student who wants to take advantage of a college course, while putting that burden on the local school districts. The school districts are operating with a line item they had not planned for five years ago which sometimes runs into the millions of dollars in larger school districts, while the universities in the state have to charge less that their break-even per course hour, while still being expected to maintain the same student services and opportunities to these students. It's a nightmare that could use it's own there.

tl;dr Cincinnati is in a good position and are working on ways to manipulate the system to improve their financial standing in a flawed budget system developed by the states which tends to leave the students in the cold. Their student quality is up, their overall headcount is up, and by and large, they are gaining more interest with the upper performers due to OSU's push out of state and limitations on admission. There are many 75th-85th percentile students (26-30 ACT) who are being denied entry to OSU's main campus who are heading to the other highly reputed STEM institutions (Cincinnati and Toledo), which is a win for them, and UC will continue to build on that momentum by pushing further into the upper-echelon districts throughout the state (Olentangy, Bexley, Upper Arlington, Dublin, Hilliard, Worthington, Centerville, Oakwood, Western Cuyahoga more specifically Westlake/Brecksville/Broadview/Lakewood/Bay Village/Medina, Findlay, Ottawa Hills, Sylvania, Perrysburg and Anthony Wayne SDs).

As an aside, Wright State and Akron are in the worst position due to the concentration of public institutions in their respective areas already...I honestly wouldn't be shocked if one or both are not around in the current formation by the end of the 20's.
 
06-15-2017 02:57 PM
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RE: University of Cincinnati Expects Record Enrollment in Fall 2017
(06-15-2017 02:00 PM)CliftonAve Wrote:  
(06-15-2017 01:56 PM)Bearcat 1985 Wrote:  Like the push for more OOS students. When you remove the reciprocal tuition students from the metro area, UC has only 5% true out of state students. That needs to change.

Also, I think the quality numbers push us past OU into third place on the Ohio food chain.

I wonder if UC can take advantage of Louisville's accreditation issues to game some additional enrollment from the Commonwealth.

Seems like have been recruiting Illinois hard, think we should look towards Missouri as well as they have their own issues.

Kentucky is not a high priority for UC (or any institution looking for quality growth) due to the student quality issue. There just are not nearly enough quality students in the State of Kentucky. In the Midwest, there are a lot of states that have the same issues, a saturation of public and private institutions with a diminishing supply of students who will remain students for a full cycle. Kentucky and UL both have huge OOS populations for the types of schools they are, and that's how they're surviving. Missouri is kind of the same issue, and that's a lot of space to travel when the state of Iowa gives reciprocity of Missouri counties and they have to get past Memphis, UT, UK, UL, IU, and Illinois just to make it to UC.
 
06-15-2017 03:02 PM
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