UT attracts, retains increasing numbers of well-prepared students

September 9, 2014 | News, UToday



The University of Toledo has enrolled and retained increasing numbers of high-performing students and increased its direct-from-high-school, international and out-of-state populations compared to fall of last year, officials announced Tuesday.

Reporting for the official 15th day census, UT announced that the total number of new students has increased from 6,333 in 2013 to 6,632 this fall. Its direct-from-high-school population increased from 3,137 to 3,184 students. The number of Honors Award recipients — the academic scholarship provided to the most well-prepared students entering UT from high school — increased from 1,166 in 2013 to 1,265 this fall. The number of students participating in the Jesup Scott Honors College also increased from 954 to 1,296.

“The fact that almost 40 percent of our freshman class are very strong academically and that many chose to enroll in our Honors College speaks volumes about the type of students we are attracting and the quality of the academic experience they are receiving,” said Dr. Cam Cruickshank, vice president for enrollment management and online education.

UT’s total degree-seeking international population has reached a five-year high at 1,617. Out-of-state student numbers are on the rise, too, as more than 1,016 new students come from outside Ohio, including 794 from Michigan.

Overall, UT enrolled 20,625 students. At this time last year, UT enrolled 20,782.

“The strategy to which UT committed several years ago is paying dividends,” Cruickshank said. “The decrease in enrollment we experienced from raising academic standards is now being replaced by increasing numbers of well-prepared students.”

Cruickshank said in addition to recruiting more academically prepared students, UT is returning increasing numbers of students to campus for their second year. UT’s retention rate for first-time, full-time freshmen of 70 percent is the highest it’s been in more than a decade.

The state of Ohio has shifted its state subsidy model, funding colleges and universities for graduation rates and academic success in the classroom instead of overall headcount.

“We knew when we raised standards we’d see a temporary dip. The academic preparedness of the students we are seeing enroll this semester demonstrates the successful efforts of the entire campus community to ensure students have the tools and resources they need to reach their educational goals and excel in the classroom,” he said.

“I want to thank all of our faculty, advisers, success coaches, tutors and other staff for dramatically slowing and nearly reversing the declining enrollment trends at UT,” said Interim President Nagi Naganathan.

“With a renewed commitment and ownership from all of us, we are bound to deliver higher levels of student success at UT. This, in turn, will also result in continued healthy enrollment growth in future terms.”