Academic journal article College and University

The Influence of AFFORDABILITY in Strategic Enrollment Management

Academic journal article College and University

The Influence of AFFORDABILITY in Strategic Enrollment Management

Article excerpt


Indiana University (IU), with faculty leadership and the administration's endorsement, embraced a new set of freshman admissions policies during the 200 5-0 6 academic year. While the academic content portion of the new admissions guidelines is not to be implemented until 2012, the goal of reshaping the freshman class profile has become a high priority for all stakeholders.

In summer 2006, four primary recruitment goals were oudined: First, the quality of the freshman class as measured by high school grade point average and standardized test score needed to increase. The trajectory of this increase in the freshman class profile needed to be calculated with the rest of the primary recruitment goals, which, if not managed correctly, could be seen as competing. The second primary recruitment goal was to increase the diversity of the freshman class as measured by ethinicity and socioeconomic status. This goal acknowledged that as the freshman profile began to change, Indiana University needed to ensure the continuation of a hallmark of her student body: diversity, broadly defined. The third recruitment goal was to build upon our strong international presence and increase the number of international students studying in Bloomington. This goal clearly supported the diversity initiative but was more specific in identifying the importance of international students studying on campus and recognizing the inherent value of providing a world view to all students. The fourth recruitment goal was to make an IU education affordable for Indiana residents. For the University, a continuing core value was that talented students would be assured that they could obtain a world-class education without regard to family income. To achieve this goal, it was imperative for our strategic plan to link need-based financial aid programs with our recruitment efforts.

In assessing data from the past several recruitment seasons, the aforementioned four goals were further defined and established. Additional data sources from the College Board, act, and other key research entities were utilized to determine the current market share Indiana University enrolled in key demographic areas and to begin modeling how our recruitment efforts might proceed with new tools. As we began recruiting the entering class of 2007, the guiding principle was that we were an organization in transition. The organization would be establishing new goals and benchmarks in order to reach different outcomes, so different strategies and tactics would be required.


The Carolina Covenant, developed at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), represents the gold standard for affordability programs, not only for its students but also because unc has enthusiastically promoted the concept in the higher education community. Others have joined in the mission to ensure access by high need students, as documented on a Web site maintained by unc at . By introducing the Carolina Covenant, unc signaled a shift in public university financial aid strategy. In an era of increasing commitments to merit-based scholarships, the University introduced a need-based program that has served as a model for other institutions. In recent years, public and private higher education institutions across the country have renewed their commitments to need-based programs.

Education foundations have continued to embrace the initiatives of student access and success, disseminating research findings and papers related to college costs, access, persistence, and affordability. Examples include the Lumina Foundation, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, the Pathways to College Network of the Educational Resources Institute (TERI), and The College Board. …

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