Student academic gains up as UT continues strategy to diversify collegiate populations | UToledo News

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Student academic gains up as UT continues strategy to diversify collegiate populations

The University of Toledo’s strategic push to attract higher performing students as it strengthens the Jesup Scott Honors College and diversifies the student populations that make up its fall 2013 first-year class continues to bear fruit, UT officials announced Tuesday as they released 15-day census numbers.

“We’re very pleased to see increases in GPA and ACT scores among our first-year students as well as higher first-year to second-year retention rates,” said Dr. Cam Cruickshank, vice president for enrollment management and online education. “We knew the cost of more academically well-prepared students would be short-term enrollment dips. Today’s numbers fall in line with our budget and enrollment projections.”

Across all campuses, UT enrolled 20,782 undergraduate and graduate students this semester. A total of 21,501 were enrolled at this time last year.

“The University of Toledo — like all public higher education institutions — is facing a new paradigm,” Cruickshank said. “As we look at state funding models, it is no longer about how many students you recruit; it is about how many students you graduate. Everything we are doing is to adjust to this new paradigm.”

As the number of direct-from-high-school students declines in Ohio and across the Midwest, Cruickshank said UT is working to rebalance its portfolio of student subpopulations.

“We’ve seen increases in international student populations, out-of-state student populations and in our online programs,” he said, adding that seven years of marketing in Michigan has resulted in a jump of nearly 130 students from fall 2012 to fall 2013. “And with our retention rate up to 67.4 percent, we’re doing a better job of matriculating all student populations once they enroll.”

More than 270 students enrolled in the Jesup Scott Honors College this fall, an increase of some 50 students and a trend UT officials expect to continue.

“We’re enrolling higher numbers of high-ability students both in the Honors College and across the University. These students will retain and graduate at higher rates, and their success is what will get the attention of prospective students as well as leaders across the community and throughout our region,” said Dr. Scott Scarborough, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.

“We’re creating a habit of success that will build upon itself and become stronger with time,” he added.

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