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Front Page of The Grand Rapids Press: GVSU Has Overtaken WMU
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Bronco'14 Offline
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Post: #1
Front Page of The Grand Rapids Press: GVSU Has Overtaken WMU
Anyone else see this?

Can't find it on mLive's website, even under the author's article. Apparently she covers a lot of Kalamazoo / WMU events.

Basically the article says how GVSU's enrollment as increased 250% while WMU's has dropped. GVSU is at 22,906 students, WMU at 19,632.

"Newer facilities and student perception may be among reasons GVSU's enrollment surpassed Westerns."

A Grand Valley student recalls talk when he was a senior in high school "GVSU was perceived to be more prestigious."

"Perceptions aside both GVSU and WMU have an 82% acceptance rate. By comparison UofM accepts 29% of applicants."

Article goes on to say WMU is ranked alongside Michigan Tech, Michigan, and Michigan St, whereas GVSU is ranked along with Saginaw Valley St and Ferris St.

WMU official says "We don't really lose that many students to GVSU. It's a myth. We lose more students to Michigan St. GVSU is a very different type of experience."

"Of those students accepted at both WMU and another school, 11% go to MSU, 7% go to GVSU."

--------------

What pisses me off this article is on the front page of The Grand Rapids Press. It's bull**** but at least after showing the numbers, the article does try to pump up WMU more.

Also, can't say I entirely disagree with the article's theories: I live in Grand Rapids and went to school at Western: there does seem to be more of a pride for being a Laker in Grand Rapids than a Bronco in Kalamazoo.
01-07-2018 05:44 PM
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Bronco'14 Offline
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RE: Front Page of The Grand Rapids Press: GVSU Has Overtaken WMU
No doubt in my mind GVSU's perception has increased which has therefore increased their overall enrollment because their football team consistently wins. This is well-documented across schools across the nation: win in either football or basketball and you're overall perception goes way up.
01-07-2018 05:49 PM
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ColinApocalypse Offline
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RE: Front Page of The Grand Rapids Press: GVSU Has Overtaken WMU
GVSU is the "hip" new school to go to, that's the vibe with college kids these days.

When I was in HS on the east side of the state, I think more kids from my school went to GVSU than WMU. I was the only one in my class to go to WMU right out of HS. For whatever reason, I think they do a better job marketing themselves to kids.

GVSU is the big fish in a small pond in sports and that gives them an air of dominance, which translates into a marketing push.

The truth of the matter is that the 4 best "big" schools in the state are Michigan, Michigan State, Michigan Tech and Western Michigan. In that order.

GVSU has more students, but a third of the endowment of WMU. They're a bloated liberal arts school, with a crazy undergrad to postgrad ratio. Despite having a larger overall enrollment, GVSU has far fewer postgraduates. USNWR classifies them as a "regional university", along with schools like U-D Mercy, Lawrence Tech, Ferris, Northern, Siena Heights, Davenport, SVSU. Meanwhile, U-M, MSU, WMU, CMU, EMU, Tech, Wayne State, and Oakland are considered "national universities".

Maybe kids in Grand Rapids do see GVSU in a better light. But the rest of the country doesn't.

It makes me think that it has to do with GVSU not actually being in Grand Rapids. Kalamazoo kids aren't crazy about going to WMU. Mt. Pleasant kids don't like CMU. The girl that lived across the hall from me my freshman year was from Mt. Pleasant and she said everyone that goes to high school there can't wait to get out of that city, and they really don't like Central. But since GVSU is a 20 minute drive from GR, maybe that's far enough away so that the school/city aren't clashing too much? I don't know...just a theory.
(This post was last modified: 01-07-2018 06:46 PM by ColinApocalypse.)
01-07-2018 06:27 PM
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Hoekjeness Offline
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RE: Front Page of The Grand Rapids Press: GVSU Has Overtaken WMU
GVSU is more like a solid 30 minutes from downtown Grand Rapids. You’re literally going through about 4 towns (GR, Standale, Walker, Allendale) and a dozen or so traffic lights to get there, even if it’s 45-55 MPH after the halfway point.

Also, if we’re calling it “overtaken” solely based on enrollment then Notre Dame is in big trouble. Ridiculous simpleton measurement.
(This post was last modified: 01-07-2018 08:03 PM by Hoekjeness.)
01-07-2018 08:02 PM
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ColinApocalypse Offline
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RE: Front Page of The Grand Rapids Press: GVSU Has Overtaken WMU
Yeah, enrollment is a really dumb measuring stick. Doesn't Rice have like 4,000 students? And that's a fantastic school. The military academies have even less than that.
01-07-2018 08:40 PM
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Motown Bronco Offline
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RE: Front Page of The Grand Rapids Press: GVSU Has Overtaken WMU
http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/inde...parin.html

Quote:He chose to attend Grand Valley. The "nice, new and vibrant" campus in Allendale and its "safe and welcoming atmosphere" drove his decision.

...

Lynn Blue, GVSU's vice president for enrollment management, said a university needs to consider every aspect of the college experience to attract and retain students. The campus must be "clean and safe," she said, and the faculty and staff "bright and well paid."

I rarely throw this card around, but sure sounds like 'code' for something...
07-coffee3
01-07-2018 08:52 PM
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ColinApocalypse Offline
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RE: Front Page of The Grand Rapids Press: GVSU Has Overtaken WMU
(01-07-2018 08:52 PM)Motown Bronco Wrote:  http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/inde...parin.html

Quote:He chose to attend Grand Valley. The "nice, new and vibrant" campus in Allendale and its "safe and welcoming atmosphere" drove his decision.

...

Lynn Blue, GVSU's vice president for enrollment management, said a university needs to consider every aspect of the college experience to attract and retain students. The campus must be "clean and safe," she said, and the faculty and staff "bright and well paid."

I rarely throw this card around, but sure sounds like 'code' for something...
07-coffee3

Mmhmmm.

Especially if you know the GR crowd.
01-07-2018 09:01 PM
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ColinApocalypse Offline
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RE: Front Page of The Grand Rapids Press: GVSU Has Overtaken WMU
Grand Rapids is also the only part of the state that has seen substantial growth over the past 20 years, and because of sheer proximity that may be fueling GVSU's growth
01-07-2018 09:11 PM
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Hoekjeness Offline
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RE: Front Page of The Grand Rapids Press: GVSU Has Overtaken WMU
(01-07-2018 08:40 PM)ColinApocalypse Wrote:  Yeah, enrollment is a really dumb measuring stick. Doesn't Rice have like 4,000 students? And that's a fantastic school. The military academies have even less than that.

Pretty sure Ohio State and Central Florida would be considered the Top 2 universities in the nation.
(This post was last modified: 01-07-2018 09:35 PM by Hoekjeness.)
01-07-2018 09:33 PM
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Charm City Bronco Offline
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RE: Front Page of The Grand Rapids Press: GVSU Has Overtaken WMU
Grand Valley is great for kids who want to stay instate after graduation....so is WMU, and that is just fine. But I'd bet my bottom dollar there are more WMU grads around the country than there are GVSU grads. It's not like attending a Big 14 school but you're still exposed to people from all over the nation for the aviation program and a few other programs as well.

I don't believe I'd be living where I am and doing what I do now having attended GVSU.
01-07-2018 10:09 PM
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broncofan1 Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Front Page of The Grand Rapids Press: GVSU Has Overtaken WMU
GVSU benefited from a perfect storm of great press, an influx of a ton of cash from Meijer, DeVos, and other GR $$, and inept vision/leadership by WMU during the early 2000's. Add the national attention for football, and they did a great job of marketing. WMU got lazy with their marketing efforts, and quite frankly took GR for granted.

Once they grew a lot, they raised their entrance standards and created a demand for their product. Is their degree worth more than WMU? Absolutely not. Outside of teaching, none of their programs stack up to WMU. That said, their gains came at the expense of WMU. This nonsense that WMU is touting that they aren't our competitor is going to make the problem worse, not better. WMU admissions/enrollment/administration better WAKE UP. GVSU has been handing us our ass for over a decade.
01-07-2018 11:17 PM
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Doo Offline
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RE: Front Page of The Grand Rapids Press: GVSU Has Overtaken WMU
There are two things going on here, 1) WMU v GVSU. 2) and most importantly the decreasing enrollment at WMU. We in part compete wit GVSU for students...sure. But GVSU is not the main reason for our enrollment decline. If it were our entire leadership should change.

WMUs enrollment decline has several factors. Some are being addressed, some are getting band aid fixes, and some are being purposely avoided. We can debate the merit and value of these things, but in large part WMU feels less modern than many major institutions, and we seem unwilling to embrace the opportunities to provide convienence out of fear of devaluing our product.

The concern is if we attempt to operate like say GVSU we will reduce our cache, but we seem incapable of attempting to operate like a major land grant type school. Admin knows this dilemma and you see a shifting message lately with the whole Big School/Small School mantra.

WMU has even shifted its operational capacity goals way down. The expansionist mindset of Dr Floyd is long gone. Personally I’m not thrilled of aiming to be medium sized. I think in the long run it’ll limit us. I get the sense that many of our decisions are made in reaction to events, and not proactively. WMU need to chart its own future, not continually trying to figure out where it can fit in.
(This post was last modified: 01-08-2018 07:52 AM by Doo.)
01-08-2018 07:49 AM
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WesternSkillet Offline
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RE: Front Page of The Grand Rapids Press: GVSU Has Overtaken WMU
(01-08-2018 07:49 AM)Doo Wrote:  There are two things going on here, 1) WMU v GVSU. 2) and most importantly the decreasing enrollment at WMU. We in part compete wit GVSU for students...sure. But GVSU is not the main reason for our enrollment decline. If it were our entire leadership should change.

WMUs enrollment decline has several factors. Some are being addressed, some are getting band aid fixes, and some are being purposely avoided. We can debate the merit and value of these things, but in large part WMU feels less modern than many major institutions, and we seem unwilling to embrace the opportunities to provide convienence out of fear of devaluing our product.

The concern is if we attempt to operate like say GVSU we will reduce our cache, but we seem incapable of attempting to operate like a major land grant type school. Admin knows this dilemma and you see a shifting message lately with the whole Big School/Small School mantra.

WMU has even shifted its operational capacity goals way down. The expansionist mindset of Dr Floyd is long gone. Personally I’m not thrilled of aiming to be medium sized. I think in the long run it’ll limit us. I get the sense that many of our decisions are made in reaction to events, and not proactively. WMU need to chart its own future, not continually trying to figure out where it can fit in.

Just curious, what are some examples that you are thinking with addressing the enrollment issue, band aid fixes, and avoiding the enrollment issue?

I only graduated a few year ago but I thought WMU had about 30K enrollment at one time. Maybe around the early 2000's?

There is a lot of opportunity to grow the GR campuses. I had one of my classes at the Beltline location. It was a good location for commuter students and the class room was in good shape. It would be nice to see the enrollment go up by growing in GR.
01-08-2018 09:34 AM
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broncofan1 Offline
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RE: Front Page of The Grand Rapids Press: GVSU Has Overtaken WMU
WMU can start by creating a genuine Marketing and Communications department to tackle the messaging efforts that need to take place. We still operate under University Relations for marketing, which is a model straight out of the 90's. University Relations is fine for press releases and photo ops. Not message creation and branding/marketing.

Other competitors (GVSU, CMU, Toledo, MSU, etc...) moved to this model YEARS ago. Haenicke, Bailey, and Dunn all lamented this but none of them did anything about it. Let's hope Montgomery will.
01-08-2018 09:37 AM
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bronco89 Offline
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RE: Front Page of The Grand Rapids Press: GVSU Has Overtaken WMU
GVSU is very aggressive in recruiting students. I have a senior who is a very good student and he received a mailing from them a least once every other week.

He was also accepted and offered $5K in annual scholarships before he even heard back from his application to Western.

They are out-selling Western!
01-08-2018 12:17 PM
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GullLake Offline
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RE: Front Page of The Grand Rapids Press: GVSU Has Overtaken WMU
(01-08-2018 12:17 PM)bronco89 Wrote:  GVSU is very aggressive in recruiting students. I have a senior who is a very good student and he received a mailing from them a least once every other week.

He was also accepted and offered $5K in annual scholarships before he even heard back from his application to Western.

They are out-selling Western!

Not hard.

I know of a high school junior who visited WMU. 3.9 GPA, and class president, but WMU has not bothered to follow-up. Zero, nuth'n.

Calvin has been extremely aggressive, Michigan has sent two letters, and Grove City College a hand-written note and a phone call.

She's planning to visit GVSU as well, but has pretty much written off WMU.

Ultimately, she needs to decide between "big public" or "small private," and WMU has unfortunately demonstrated the perceived indifference of "big public."

Gotta reach out to these kids and establish some kind of bond.
01-08-2018 12:30 PM
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Hoekjeness Offline
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RE: Front Page of The Grand Rapids Press: GVSU Has Overtaken WMU
(01-08-2018 12:17 PM)bronco89 Wrote:  GVSU is very aggressive in recruiting students. I have a senior who is a very good student and he received a mailing from them a least once every other week.

He was also accepted and offered $5K in annual scholarships before he even heard back from his application to Western.

They are out-selling Western!

I agree with this. Even 15 years ago, GVSU was very aggressive. I used to get stuff all the time from them.
01-08-2018 12:50 PM
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brovol Offline
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RE: Front Page of The Grand Rapids Press: GVSU Has Overtaken WMU
Having two kids in college, and being involved with the local high school, I have a sense that GVSU is attractive to kids because it is a newer college, with "fresh" buildings on two nice looking campuses, and they have a variety of sports programs in a vibrant mid-sized city. It is attracting kids who, like most of WMU students, were above average in high school, but who generally dont have the scores to get into UM, or higher level schools. Each will get its share of high achievers, who could have applied to more prestigious schools, but generally the profiles are similar. I think GVSU is on a par with Ferris State, and maybe Oakland (frankly I think Oakland is higher), and It has done a nice job branding itself. I would certainly rather have a degree from WMU, in virtually any discipline, than GVSU, but to be honest, I doubt an employer in California would be able to distinguish either school on someones resume. Most Michigan employers would likely give WMU the nod, and certainly would in most of our more prominent programs, like engineering.

And always remember; size doesnt matter. LOL. I must admit though that I am surprised that WMU enrollment has gone down so much. I thought that when I graduated in the late 80's WMU had an enrollment of over 25,000.

I dont know that this has any relation to all of this, but I do think WMU had, like most colleges, become increasingly more liberal. Perhaps I am speaking out of school, and I know my politics are more conservative than many/most of this board, but there things can effect where certain kids go to school. Hey, what has happened to BC Bronco?
01-08-2018 04:36 PM
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Bronco'14 Offline
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RE: Front Page of The Grand Rapids Press: GVSU Has Overtaken WMU
(01-08-2018 09:34 AM)WesternSkillet Wrote:  Just curious, what are some examples that you are thinking with addressing the enrollment issue, band aid fixes, and avoiding the enrollment issue?

I only graduated a few year ago but I thought WMU had about 30K enrollment at one time. Maybe around the early 2000's?

Yes I believe we did have about 30K at one point. (I actually thought we did have 30K when I started at WMU in 2010)

I think some examples of addressing enrollment issues are a lot of new buildings. The affiliation (or ownership, or whatever it is) with Cooley Law School, the new med school, are a couple others. Those are all the ones I know.

(01-08-2018 04:36 PM)brovol Wrote:  Having two kids in college, and being involved with the local high school, I have a sense that GVSU is attractive to kids because it is a newer college, with "fresh" buildings on two nice looking campuses, and they have a variety of sports programs in a vibrant mid-sized city. It is attracting kids who, like most of WMU students, were above average in high school, but who generally dont have the scores to get into UM, or higher level schools. Each will get its share of high achievers, who could have applied to more prestigious schools, but generally the profiles are similar. I think GVSU is on a par with Ferris State, and maybe Oakland (frankly I think Oakland is higher), and It has done a nice job branding itself. I would certainly rather have a degree from WMU, in virtually any discipline, than GVSU, but to be honest, I doubt an employer in California would be able to distinguish either school on someones resume. Most Michigan employers would likely give WMU the nod, and certainly would in most of our more prominent programs, like engineering.
Visting GVSU's campus, it does have tons of newer buildings. I think this is what really attracts students. I know people complain about schools pouring money into new buildings, but that's a huge draw for high school students. The Chemistry Building, the engineering campus, Schneider Hall, the new dorms, and the new apartments are all great buildings. The rest are all really old. The sad thing is, a lot of those buildings are pretty recent - we're talking 5 years old or so. Old Sangren, Miller Hall, Wood Hall, the Bernhard Center, very old buildings that hosted a lot of classes. Not good enough compared to what GVSU offers.

Honestly I think the Bernhard Center student union probably turns a lot of prospective students away. It's just so old and looks and feels very outdated.

I don't think an employer in California would be able to distinguish between a WMU and GVSU degree either. However, I also don't think an employer would distinguish between a WMU or GVSU degree. He'd say they're both great schools and look at extracurriculars to determine hiring.

(01-07-2018 09:11 PM)ColinApocalypse Wrote:  Grand Rapids is also the only part of the state that has seen substantial growth over the past 20 years, and because of sheer proximity that may be fueling GVSU's growth
Definitely.

(01-07-2018 08:02 PM)Hoekjeness Wrote:  GVSU is more like a solid 30 minutes from downtown Grand Rapids. You’re literally going through about 4 towns (GR, Standale, Walker, Allendale) and a dozen or so traffic lights to get there, even if it’s 45-55 MPH after the halfway point.

Also, if we’re calling it “overtaken” solely based on enrollment then Notre Dame is in big trouble. Ridiculous simpleton measurement.
Thing is, WMU and GVSU are comparable in terms of missions.

(01-07-2018 06:27 PM)ColinApocalypse Wrote:  GVSU is the "hip" new school to go to, that's the vibe with college kids these days.

When I was in HS on the east side of the state, I think more kids from my school went to GVSU than WMU. I was the only one in my class to go to WMU right out of HS. For whatever reason, I think they do a better job marketing themselves to kids.
I went to HS in Grand Rapids. Lot of kids had a very high perception of GVSU, like it was a mini UofM. I can think of 3 others in my graduating class who went to WMU. Those who went to CMU weren't much more.

(01-07-2018 06:27 PM)ColinApocalypse Wrote:  GVSU is the big fish in a small pond in sports and that gives them an air of dominance, which translates into a marketing push.
Definitely. They are proud that they're the second most winningest program in the Nation in football.

(01-07-2018 06:27 PM)ColinApocalypse Wrote:  GVSU has more students, but a third of the endowment of WMU. They're a bloated liberal arts school, with a crazy undergrad to postgrad ratio. Despite having a larger overall enrollment, GVSU has far fewer postgraduates. USNWR classifies them as a "regional university", along with schools like U-D Mercy, Lawrence Tech, Ferris, Northern, Siena Heights, Davenport, SVSU. Meanwhile, U-M, MSU, WMU, CMU, EMU, Tech, Wayne State, and Oakland are considered "national universities".
Yes, the article did point out WMU is up with UofM and MSU; whereas GVSU is more comparable with Saginaw Valley ST.

(01-07-2018 06:27 PM)ColinApocalypse Wrote:  Maybe kids in Grand Rapids do see GVSU in a better light. But the rest of the country doesn't.
Hard to say. The college rankings definitely view WMU as higher than GVSU, but not sure about the public in general.

(01-07-2018 06:27 PM)ColinApocalypse Wrote:  It makes me think that it has to do with GVSU not actually being in Grand Rapids. Kalamazoo kids aren't crazy about going to WMU. Mt. Pleasant kids don't like CMU. The girl that lived across the hall from me my freshman year was from Mt. Pleasant and she said everyone that goes to high school there can't wait to get out of that city, and they really don't like Central. But since GVSU is a 20 minute drive from GR, maybe that's far enough away so that the school/city aren't clashing too much? I don't know...just a theory.
This is a huge issue and something both CMU & WMU need to work on. The general public in GR has more pride for GVSU than the general public in Kalamazoo has for WMU.
01-08-2018 07:11 PM
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Nacho Offline
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RE: Front Page of The Grand Rapids Press: GVSU Has Overtaken WMU
I grew up in the Kalamazoo/Portage area. I visited GVSU and it felt like a prison out in the middle of no where. Literally nothing to do. They made it seem like they were harsh on drinking and partying. The dorms looked like a nursing home. A handful of kids from my graduating class went to GVSU, majority went to WMU while the others went to MSU or U of M. There is NOTHING to do there. Maybe something has changed but I doubt it.
01-08-2018 07:58 PM
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