Official fall 2010 census data from a sample of 218 colleges and universities shows that more than half of the higher education institutions met their enrollment goals for fall 2010, according to a new benchmark report from Noel-Levitz, though there was significant variability in the findings. Among the report’s highlights:
- Four-year private institutions saw a 6.9 percent median increase in FTIC (first-time-in-college) students in fall 2010, followed by four-year public institutions at 3.9 percent and two-year public institutions at 2.0 percent. This represented a reversal from a year earlier when two-year public institutions reported significant growth at the median compared to minimal increases at four-year institutions.
- Declines in FTIC enrollment were reported by 26 percent of four-year public institutions, 29 percent of four-year private institutions, and 44 percent of two-year public institutions.
- Student retention rose approximately half a percentage point at the median, though declines were reported by about 40 percent of respondents across institution types.
- Increased competition was evident, as nearly two-thirds of four-year institutions, public and private, reported setting more aggressive new student enrollment and retention goals for fall 2010 compared to a year earlier. Goal-setting was most aggressive among four-year private institutions in the area of student retention while goal-setting was most aggressive among four-year public institutions in the area of FTIC enrollment.
See the report for additional details, including transfer student outcomes, breakdowns for large versus small four-year institutions, and specific degrees of variance between actual fall 2010 enrollment and fall 2010 goals for each quartile of respondents.
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