MADISON — The University of Wisconsin System achieved its enrollment management target for the fall semester of the 1998-99 academic year, President Katharine C. Lyall announced today at a meeting of the UW System Board of Regents.
Enrollment of new freshmen at University of Wisconsin System institutions for the Fall 1998 semester increased by 4.4% over the same period in 1997, she added.
“Our enrollment management program is paying dividends in the wise use of financial resources,” Lyall said. “For the fall semester, UW campuses have a total enrollment of just over 128,000 full-time equivalent students,” about 0.3 percent over planned target levels.
Lyall said the credit for achieving the management target goes to the 14 chancellors who oversee the UW Systems 26 four- and two-year campuses.
“Achieving enrollment management targets is a key component in managing campus financial resources and educational quality,” she explained. “Each institutions enrollment target represents the optimal balance between maintaining access for qualified students and making best use of funding resources.”
The UW System measures enrollment in two ways: “headcount” and full-time equivalents. Headcount includes both full-time and part-time students; the full-time equivalency count is used for strategic planning purposes.
Three institutions UW-Oshkosh, UW-Parkside, and UW Colleges (comprised of 13 two-year campuses) are slightly below target but have significantly closed enrollment gaps over 1997, according to Lyall. The remaining institutions are all at, or slightly above, their 1998 targets. She credited the enrollment increase successes to improved campus communications with prospective students, and the growing amount that a college education adds to lifetime earnings..
In 1997, UW-Oshkosh was 4.5%, or 418 full-time equivalent students, below its enrollment target; this fall the gap was reduced by more than 50% to 1.8%, or 162 FTE students, below target.
UW-Parkside, located midway between Kenosha and Racine, was 7.6%, or 263 FTE students, below target in Fall 1997; that was reduced to 2.5%, or only 86 FTE students, by Fall 1998.
The most substantial gain in students occurred within UW Colleges where a Fall 1997 gap of 18.7% 1,407 FTE students was reduced to 8.5% below target, or 637 students.
Lyall said UW Colleges Chancellor William Messner was particularly successful in publicly identifying his two-year campuses as the most-affordable freshman-sophomore option within the public UW System. Improved resource planning and allocation between UW Colleges
and the 13 four-year campuses and a guaranteed transfer program have eased some of the credit-transfer issues faced by students over the years. The Systemwide Transfer Information System (TIS), available on UW System World Wide Web sites, enables students to plan and transfer course among UW campuses and between the UW System and the Wisconsin Technical College System.
UW Systemwide, enrollment increased by 2.2% over Fall 1997, or 2,791 FTE students, to 128,184. The systemwide enrollment target for 1998 was 127,768 compared with 127,374 for 1997.
The UW System manages its enrollments in order to ensure educational quality, avoid overcrowding and make optimum use of the facilities at each campus.
Peter D. Fox