This archived article was written by: Nathaniel Woodward
In determining why enrollment numbers decreased steadily over the past several years, The Eagle investigated and interviewed several students, prospective students and administrators. While the opinions vary on why enrollment is low, data over the past three years paints a clearer picture.
A PowerPoint presentation from USU Eastern MBA students, David Mathis and Taren Powell, was provided to The Eagle from Vice Chancellor Greg Dart. The following is a breakdown of the data presented specifically on retention or more specifically, the number of students who applied to and ended up enrolling at USU Eastern. The figures were compiled from USU’s banner which reflects enrollment from the main campus, regional campuses and Eastern.
With new recruiting methods implemented, i.e., USU main campus taking over all recruiting efforts for Eastern, questions about how effective this method is in gaining new applicants and retaining students already enrolled have been questioned.
The data in this article reflects only the retention or yield of USU Eastern students enrolled after applying for admission.
The data collected over the past three years included demographics relevant to enrollment numbers such as gender, age, hometown and high schools attended. Furthermore the data was broken down into regions including Northern Utah, Southern Utah, Utah County, Salt Lake and Tooele counties as well as Carbon and neighboring rural.
Application enrollment yield data from Carbon County showed a retention rate of 75.71 percent out of 210 applications in 2014 and over a 10 percent drop to 64.95 percent out of only 194 applications by 2016. This trend shows not only a drop in yield but a drop in applications.
Neighboring counties did not follow suite with retention at 49.01 percent out of 151 applications in 2014, up slightly in 2015 at 53.7 percent with 158 applications and a downturn in 2016 to 44.19 percent yield from 129 applications. This shows that while there is increased success in enrolling new applicants, the total number of applicants has declined steadily.
Salt Lake and Tooele counties saw a marked increase in yield between the three years from a low of 22.73 percent out of 154 applications in 2014, up to 37.5 percent in 2016. However the total numbers of applications swung dramatically from the 154 in 2014 up to and astounding 449 in 2015 and a significant decrease to only 72 in 2016.
Utah County’s numbers varied greatly from 41.82 percent yield from 55 applications in 2014 down to 28.87 percent from 97 applications the next year and up to 42.55 percent yielded from only 47 applications in 2016.
Retention from Southern Utah had the greatest change from a low of 10.53 percent out of 57 applications in 2014, up to 37.5 percent yielded from only eight applications in 2016.
Finally, Northern Utah also saw a wide swing in retention as well with a high yield of 40 percent from 20 applications in 2014, down to 10.81 percent our of 74 applications in 2015 and back up to 33.33 percent from only 21 applications in 2016.
While the yield from year to year in every corner of the state is important to understand the total number of applicants have grown and shrunk dramatically between the three years observed. Viewing the data collectively there were 1,357 applications for admission in 2014, 1,703 in 2015 and only 928 in 2016.
It should be noted that the Logan administration views the data holistically and is attempting to implement programs and strategies that will boost both retention numbers as well as overall enrollment at USU Eastern.
USU Eastern’s Chancellor Joe Peterson, Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Services Greg Dart and
Director of Enrollment Services, Kristian Olsen are negotiating to either keep the recruiting on the main campus for Eastern or coming up with a new plan.