Hardly a day goes by without a college announcing jobs, programs or spending cuts.
You’d think with all the brainpower at our colleges and universities they would be able to come up with better solutions than lopping off people, sections and services to students. But they don’t seem to. Why not?
For organizations preparing students and society for the future, we seem to still be stuck in the past at least when it comes to thinking about enrollment. The churn and burn of continually bringing new students through the front door, and then just watching them go out the back door is killing college enrollments. And individual and institutional futures. As students drop out, budgets, employment, class sections, services and the ability to meet the educational mission go down. Tuition and fees go up.
The cost of attrition to students who leave (most drop out rather than flunk out by the way) is extremely high for them, our society and culture. Most leave feeling as if they failed in some way even though 72% usually leave because of what has been identified as weak to poor academic customer service. Their educational and personal needs were not met. Many dropouts also use their college savings, financial aid and ability to obtain a college loan. Many will not go back to school. They become part of the State’s employment problem.
When students drop out and do not graduate, the schools lose their ability to meet their educational mission as well as their chance to assist people and our state to meet career and intellectual goals. And they lose millions of dollars a year; something neither individuals not taxpayers can afford.
It costs an average of about $6,000 to recruit, enroll and process each new college or university student. So, every student who leaves takes at least $12,000 out the door with him or her. The dropping student takes the $6,000 average financial investment the school made to recruit and enroll him or her initially. The lost student must also be replaced so that will cost another $6,000 recruitment and enrollment cost. Since not every drop out is replaced immediately, tuition revenue is also lost equal to the number of dropouts times tuition cost.
Let’s look at
To see how a focus on retention could benefit publicly-assisted colleges, the State of
So, focusing more on helping students stay and graduate would have significant results for individual states, the nation, its citizens and economy. Not that
Could this happen? Yes! In fact, right now Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Eric Fingerhut is getting ready to recommend a new higher education funding formula that will reward results based on specific performance measures. The new formula will focus on retention and on graduates rather than fall numbers reflecting new freshmen and current start population for all of the State colleges. This is a bold and needed move that will have long term positive effects for the state colleges and universities and
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“We had hoped we’d improve our retention by 3% but with the help of Dr. Raisman, we increased it by 5%.” Rachel Albert, Provost, University of Maine-Farmington
“Neal led a retreat that initiated customer service and retention as a real focus for us and gave us a clear plan. Then he followed up with presentations and workshops that kicked us all into high gear. We recommend with no reservations; just success.” Susan Mesheau, Executive Director U First: Integrated Recruitment & Retention University of New Brunswick
“Thank you so much for the wonderful workshop at Lincoln Technical Institute. It served to re-center ideas in a great way. I perceived it to be a morale booster, breath of fresh air, and a burst of passion.” Shelly S, Lincoln Technical Institute