President's Enrollment and Retention Council Progress Report
September 2011 - May 2012
Chairs: Warren Burggren, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Elizabeth With, Vice President for Student Affairs
This progress report details the efforts that UNT has made within the last academic year to solidify enrollment and retention numbers. The efforts were made with the intent to increase the quantity, quality, and diversity, as previously stated in the council's original goals documented in the January 2011 – August 2011 progress report.
While the goal of enrolling 45,000 students by 2016 is documented, through deliberations of the new enrollment structures and in reflection of consultant advice from the 2011-12 academic year, UNT is not necessarily dedicated to reaching a certain enrollment by a certain date. Instead, the university is focused on the success of its current and future cohorts and the efforts outlined below are indicative of that fact. More details on the restructuring of the President’s Enrollment and Retention Council (PERC) are described below.
During the fall 2011 semester, the President’s Enrollment Council underwent a restructuring in an effort to increase council productivity. The chart below indicates the council’s new structure and leadership. A primary outcome of this structure is the creation of a Retention Committee to match the work of the Enrollment Management Committee. The chairs and co-chairs will provide continuity between the committees, the War Room and the PERC itself.
During the spring 2012 semester, UNT enlisted the services of both Noel-Levitz Higher Education Consultants and an independent consultant to assist in evaluations of the effectiveness and yield of the university’s current financial and scholarship investments. The council also is working with Royal and Company for assistance in targeted recruitment efforts and with Ad Astra for assistance with course scheduling. Findings from these evaluations will guide the future work of the council.
In response to consultant reports to date, the PERC and the President’s Finance Council have approved funding for the following efforts:
Noel-Levitz consulting firm
- Determine the effectiveness and yield by multiple parameters of current financial aid and scholarship investment of some $37.1 million in first-year assistance and $40.2 million in transfer support, including more than $5 million in institutional grants and scholarships
- Provide a detailed analysis of the effectiveness of the current scholarship program by analyzing the yield (accept/award to enroll)
- Guide UNT on how to better determine how the university is positioned in the DFW higher education marketplace by using National Clearinghouse data and a detailed analysis of 5,200 non-enrolled, accepted students
- Guide UNT on how to better analyze “The Persister” to know what intervention practices are most effective.
At the PERC's direction and guidance, UNT:
Enrollment and recruitment highlights
- Authorized an initiative to increase to the fall 2012 freshman class and allocated an additional $1.9 million in merit aid for FY 2013 to recruit more high-achieving freshman students
- Reallocated for FY 2013 $1.5M in need-based merit aid and $400,000 in transfer scholarships that was initially allocated in FY 2012
- Created a pool of $167,000 for its colleges and schools for specialized efforts intended to increase fall 2012 enrollments
- Is introducing a new plan to offer streamlined admission to UNT graduate programs for students graduating from the UNT’s Honors College
- Launched a new series of on-campus recruitment events targeting graduate student enrollment
- Made targeted increases, totaling $2 million, available for FY 2013 funding for graduate students
- Is introducing a new plan to increase doctoral student enrollments in the 2012-13 academic year
- Is finalizing targeted increases in FY 2013 funding for recruiting and advising
- Modified Academic Progression Standards in an effort to help students “get their feet wet” in their first semester at UNT without facing the financial implications of changes in how federal financial aid regulates Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
- The minimum cumulative UNT GPA for undergraduate students is 1.8 in their first enrollment period, 2.0 for all subsequent semesters
- The minimum cumulative UNT GPA for graduate students is 2.67 in their first enrollment period, 3.0 for all subsequent semesters
- Developed a “Think before you drop” postcard for faculty members as well as students in response to new SAP regulations. Created by URCM, both postcard versions encourage students to seek advice from their advisor and talk to financial aid (if they are receiving it) prior to dropping a class in order to ensure they fully understand the repercussions of their decisions. A test of the student drop card has been sent to all summer students who are receiving financial aid. If the test shows that students follow the “call to action” (website), the postcards will be mailed to the permanent addresses of all students at the beginning of the fall 2012 semester. All faculty members will receive the postcard at the start of the fall 2012 semester.
- Implemented a comprehensive 2012 fall intervention plan for at-risk freshmen (ENGAGE Project). The goal of the project is to contact all at-risk students by the end of Week 5 of the fall semester. Certain faculty members and staff have already been trained to serve as interveners.
- Is undergoing a study conducted by the Retention Committee to better understand which academic and student affairs departments have the most effective retention practices for freshmen, transfer students, and graduate students. Results will be used to develop the institution’s retention plan, scheduled to roll out in early fall 2012.
- Is developing a mandatory withdrawal process to ensure students talk to a university representative prior to withdrawing. The goal is to prevent students from withdrawing without fully understanding the consequences, thus keeping more students enrolled.
- Allocated $166,000 in additional funding for summer school 2012 to increase course offerings
- Created a task force to implement a carousel model for certain academic programs to increase UNT’s distance learning offerings, which contribute to overall enrollment growth while also increasing the quality of delivery and instruction
- Allocated funding to the Learning Center to place supplemental instructors in the top 20 courses, as opposed to 10, which is what historical funding allowed, in order to increase support in summer courses with high DFWI (Drop/Failure/Withdrawal/Incomplete) rates
Other Councils and Council reports