Nat'l initiative impacts summer enrollment
A new initiative by President Barack Obama’s administration has impacted summer enrollment at colleges across the country, including Metropolitan State College of Denver, according to Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services Judi A. Diaz Bonacquisti.
“This year, the Obama administration is allowing Pell-eligible students to use their monies to go to college full time year-round, including the summer. In the past, if students went full time in the fall and spring, they would not have Pell money left over for the summer. The goal is to have students go to school year round and graduate with their degrees sooner.”
It appears to be working.
More students are taking summer classes at Metro State than ever before, according to the Census Summer 2010 Student Profile compiled by the Office of Institutional Research. Total student headcount for the summer is 9,243, an 11.6 percent increase over enrollment at the same time last year (8,282). Full-time students increased by 19.2 percent and part-time students increased by 9.5 percent. The average credit hour load increased from 5.93 to 6.00.
Financial Aid Director Cindy Hejl said, “After our first week of summer disbursement, we have seen a 100 percent increase in the count of students receiving a summer Pell Grant, most likely attributed to the new year-round Pell Grant. The number of Pell-eligible students has grown from 1,300 students in summer 2009 to almost 2,600 students this summer. Last year, the College disbursed a total of $977,000 in summer Pell Grants, and so far in 2010 we have disbursed over $2.5 million.”
Bonacquisti says in addition to the Pell changes, the economy is another reason for the increase. “With students having a more difficult time getting summer jobs, it is an easier decision to stay in school for the summer.”
Bonacquisti also reports an 18 percent increase in the number of students involved in the Metro Summer Scholars program—the tandem academic and support program strategically developed to feed into the First Year Success Program to give students two semesters of support. This summer 67 students are participating, compared to 57 last year.
The growth is more prevalent in continuing students, says Coordinator of Institutional Research Ellen Boswell. While there are 1,214 new students, 7,607 students are continuing, an increase of 835 continuing students (12.3 percent) from last summer. Other factors, including an increased focus on retention, tiered tuition and enforcing the General Studies requirements are also contributing to the summer increase, Boswell says.
The census also found that students of color increased from 25.0 percent to 26.2 percent compared to last summer, accounting for 36.0 percent of the actual growth for the institution. Most of this growth was among African American students, who increased from 542 to 697.
Heading into fall 2010 enrollment
“Our goal for FY11 is 1.5 percent overall enrollment growth,” says Bonacquisti, “with flat new student enrollment. We appear to be on target.”
As of June 14:
- Total headcount registration for fall 2010 is 15,364, which is 10.4 percent higher than at the same date in 2009 and 68.3 percent of last fall’s final headcount
- Continuing student headcount is 13.0 percent higher than last year at this time, while new student headcount is 5.6 percent lower than last year.
- Fall 2010 applications are up 2 percent over fall 2009 (9,439 to 9,232).
- Accepted students are up 1 percent compared to last fall (6,823 to 6,741).
- Applications for African American students are up 12 percent over last fall (824 to 736)
- Applications for Latino students are down 5 percent from fall 2009 (1,708 to 1,615); however, enrollment for these students is up 44 percent (140 to 97).
Note: Application deadline for fall 2010 is July 1.