University of Toledo undergraduate retention increased nearly 2 percentage points while total enrollment dipped, according to official 15-day census numbers released by UT Sept. 8.
“Our first-year to second-year undergraduate retention number is higher than it has been in more than a decade. Once we get our students enrolled, more of them than ever are receiving the resources they need to succeed and earn a degree,” said President Sharon Gaber, thanking the faculty and staff who create the environment that makes this advancement possible.
“Clearly, we are disappointed by the decrease in enrollment, and we have a lot of work ahead of us to reverse this trend and grow the number of students taking UT courses,” Gaber said.
In addition to enrollment increases, one of Gaber’s primary goals is to boost retention and graduation rates. The state of Ohio’s subsidy formula for higher education is now based on course and degree completion rather than the number of students enrolled.
“Increased retention is key to ultimately achieving higher graduation rates,” she said.
In fall 2015, UT enrolled 20,325 students. At the same time last year, the University’s enrollment was 20,626. The majority of the decrease came among graduate students, which dropped from 4,536 in 2014 to 4,257 this year.
“The University of Toledo is committed to increasing scholarship and externally funded research,” Gaber said. “While this is critical to recruiting and retaining top faculty, it also plays an essential role in graduate student recruitment. Refocusing UT’s efforts in this area is critical financially, but also as we seek to advance our reputation on the national stage. Research thrives at great universities.”
In the past months, The University of Toledo has engaged enrollment consultant Ruffalo Noel Levitz as it continues its efforts to increase student populations across the institution.
“Student recruitment and academic success are the responsibility of every UT faculty and staff member,” Gaber said. “We all play an important role creating the culture that we are asking students to join. UT offers students far-reaching educational opportunities, and it is up to every one of us to communicate that message.”