Revised: September 24, 2015

1. Background

The extent to which University institutions provide information and assistance to prospective undergraduate and graduate students varies substantially. Such information and assistance is needed to help students determine if a particular institution can provide instruction, research and academic support services to meet their needs. A systemwide policy is needed to ensure that an adequate, but not excessive, amount of information is provided to the public describing instructional offerings, particularly in areas of excellence and unique program offerings. By providing adequate information, the UW System will maintain student diversity and competitive quality.

Special efforts may be needed to recruit targeted groups of students. Targeted groups may include minority and/or disadvantaged students, students underrepresented by gender in a particular discipline or exceptionally talented students an institution is attempting to recruit to remain competitive in the higher education environment. Once a student has decided upon an institution, special efforts must often be made to retain targeted groups of students. Guidelines are needed to assist the institutions in their planning efforts, thereby ensuring that such expenditures in support of information programs are appropriate and consistent within the University of Wisconsin System.

2. Constraints

University Travel Policies
UW System Administrative Policy 435, Headquarter City & UW System Sponsored Events Policy
Covers policies, procedures, and rate maximums for travel related to students and recruitment activities.

3. Policy

A. Recruitment In General

It is the responsibility of each institution to inform the general public of its available educational services. Generally, funds used for this purpose should be accounted for under student services (activity 0) or instruction (activity 2). General Purpose Revenue (GPR) funds may be used for this purpose. Expenditures must be reasonable and moderate, and the primary purpose must be to provide information. Travel related expenditures for employees are subject to University Travel Policies.

The following expenditures are considered appropriate for recruitment in general:

  1. Salaries of employees.
  2. Printing and mailing of brochures, catalogs, timetables, etc.
  3. Reception-type expenditures for prospective students who are on an official visit to the institution. Such expenditures must be in compliance with the UW System Administrative Policy 435 (SYS 435), Headquarter City & UW System Sponsored Events Policy.
  4. Travel costs for appropriate University staff to visit groups of prospective students.
  5. Reception type expenditures for orientation sessions for secondary education administrators (superintendents, principals, and counselors) for the purpose of providing information about educational opportunities at UW
  6. System institutions. Such expenditures must be in compliance with the SYS 435, Headquarter City & UW System Sponsored Events Policy. Travel expenses, including meals, for these individuals may also be paid.
  7. Informational announcements
    1. Announcement of class schedules and registration procedures.
    2. Public media announcements outlining the various degree programs offered by a particular institution.

B. Recruitment and Retention of Targeted Groups

Even with enrollment management, institutions may find a need to identify targeted groups for which it is justified to expend additional amounts on recruitment and retention. Funds expended for the recruitment and retention of targeted students must be identified as part of the institution’s precollege, recruitment or retention program plan. Programs must be specifically defined and approved by the Chancellor or delegated designee. Off-campus activities for the recruitment and retention of students are subject to the SYS 435, Headquarter City & UW System Sponsored Events Policy.

In addition to the expenditures listed under Section III.A. Recruitment in General, reasonable expenses may be approved for:

  1. Recruitment and retention programs, such as orientation programs, to meet special needs of minority and/or disadvantaged students, or to “exert leadership in modifying stereotypes” by striving to attract students of the underrepresented gender into a particular discipline.
  2. Travel costs to bring prospective targeted students to the institution. UW System Travel Regulations must be adhered to.
  3. Cultural activities and academic recognition events. Expenses for primarily social activities are not allowable.

All expenditures should be related to the institution’s preapproved recruitment or retention plan. Institutions should continually explore ways and means of providing information on educational opportunities in the UW System in the most economical and effective ways possible. The primary purpose of making expenditures in support of recruitment and retention of students is to create diversity and excellence in the undergraduate and graduate student body.

Additional restrictions apply to the recruitment of athletes. Each institution is governed by its athletic conference rules.

Refer to the Attachment for examples of situations allowable or not allowable for recruitment and retention of targeted groups. Questions on the appropriateness of certain types of expenditures should be forwarded to the Institution Business Office. Activities not falling within the preapproved plan may be approved by the Chancellor or delegated designee on a case-by-case basis with proper justification.