Publication Date

2018-08-10

Availability

Open access

Embargo Period

2018-08-10

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EDD)

Department

Educational and Psychological Studies (Education)

Date of Defense

2018-06-01

First Committee Member

Soyeon Ahn

Second Committee Member

Carol-Anne Phekoo

Third Committee Member

Debbiesiu L. Lee

Fourth Committee Member

Susan Mullane

Abstract

Effective enrollment management strategies are of utmost importance to ensure the health of higher education institutions. College student demographics are evolving and are especially challenging for colleges and universities. This means that colleges and universities must stay abreast of student needs and best practices to maintain student enrollments. However, while college attendance nationally has been increasing, healthy enrollment numbers vary greatly across certain institutions. In a highly competitive marketplace, smaller, private, independent schools have been especially vulnerable. Yet research has been limited to help guide these institutions that enroll a substantial proportion of college students and are vital to the overall mission of higher education—particularly in the state of Florida. The current research sought to determine whether enrollment change over time at the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida (ICUF) differed by enrollment strategies, and models. In addition, the study explored whether the effect of enrollment strategies and models on enrollment change over time was affected by ICUF institutional characteristics. The study was driven by the following research questions: (1) Are there any differences in the enrollment change over time since 2007 based on enrollment office model? (2) Are there any differences in the enrollment change over time since 2007 based on characteristics of ICUF member institutions? (3) Are there any differences in the enrollment change over time since 2007 by the strategies adopted based on ICUF member institutions? (4) Are there any differences in the effect of strategies on enrollment change over time since 2007 based on characteristics of ICUF member institutions? The research questions were examined using the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and survey responses from enrollment management offices regarding enrollment management strategies, models, and programs used in four-year, private, nonprofit ICUF institutions in Florida. Results of the study indicated enrollment management personnel varied by institution and showed an average leadership experience of more than 10 years and marketing budgets from $21,246 to $1 million. Most schools reported using the Committee model of enrollment management which is usually the first adopted model formed to raise awareness of admissions and retention issues across an institution. Enrollment change over time significantly differed by all institutional characteristics: higher positive enrollment change was reported in institutions classified as non-HBCU, non-religious, primarily baccalaureate-granting, requiring admission test score, graduate degree offering, majority undergraduate, NCAA member, large, master’s designated, medium-level tuition and fees, and endowment size greater than $66 million. Significant differences were found among enrollment strategies; for example, adaptive strategies, which address changes in market demand, showed significant but positive enrollment change. Practical implications are also discussed for smaller, private, independent four-year colleges and universities and for those concerned with enrollment management who come from many offices and departments of those institutions.

Keywords

Enrollment Management; Enrollment; Enrollment Strategies; Enrollment Models; Strategic Enrollment Management

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