Central Michigan University has begun to place an emphasis on recruitment in light of declining college enrollment figures and decreasing yield rates.
As reported earlier this year, decreasing enrollment trends are affecting nearly every university in the Mid-American Conference, including CMU. Kent State University was the only school in the conference not to see an enrollment decline this year.
“The amount of high school seniors within the state are declining and will continue to do so,” Associate Director of Admissions Kevin Williams said via email. “The state of Michigan has 15 public universities, 29 community colleges and 55 private colleges, all of which are scrambling to recruit from a very finite pool of students.”
CMU has seen a 2.5-percent decrease in enrollment since 2010; a decline of nearly 700 students.
“You are more likely to recruit a student if they take the opportunity to visit your campus,” Williams said. “That’s why we are overly concerned with the overall appearance of CMU. Central Michigan University has the reputation for having one of the nicest campuses in the state of Michigan.”
The average four-year university spent $2,311 per student on recruitment in 2011, according to a National Association for College Admissions Counseling report.
Yield rates, which is the percentage of students who actually enroll upon admission, has declined 8-percent since 2002 for public colleges and universities. Yield rates are down 12 percent for private schools, according to the NACAC report.
According to Williams, CMU is hosting several “yield activities” to bring prospective students to campus in hopes of increasing future enrollment.
Each of the six colleges that make up CMU will host an open house over the summer to offer students and parents the opportunity to visit campus during the summer months.
“Our campus is always beautiful during the summer,” Williams said.
CMU and You Day Sept. 29 will serve as a university-wide open house to offer students and parents the chance to see campus when more than 20,000 students are back for classes.
According to Williams, students and their families will be able to gather more information regarding their majors and minors, speak with professors and department chairpersons, take a tour of campus, enjoy lunch and attend a home football game for free.
Prospective students with a minimum 3.5 GPA will be able to attend a separate event Jan. 26 to meet with academic advisors.
The event, which includes a free dinner, will also give students and their families free admission to the CMU vs. Western Michigan University home basketball game.
Although Williams stresses the importance of bringing prospective students to campus, the Office of Admissions will also be taking the show on the road.
“We will visit seven local cities, getting students prepared for freshman orientation,” Williams said. “We will spend the evening with admitted students only discussing how to sign up for orientation, how to pick your residence hall and roommates, financial aid packages and support services.”
The admissions team will also give out CMU backpacks and official CMU student ID cards during these pre-orientation receptions.