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Recruiting plans for upcoming terms, fall enrollment update

September 21, 2021

Newsletters>Cardinal Update

Recruiting plans

Plans and activities are underway at Saint Mary’s University for the next recruiting cycle. The Undergraduate College Admission Office has initiated a major shift to a new and improved partner to help target, craft, and deliver compelling messaging to prospective students, from the time we learn of a student through when they decide to enroll. Liaison International is in the process of collecting survey information from prospective students. As Liaison develops communications specific to our programs to customize messaging to prospective students, department chairs and faculty will be called on to help provide more information. The Undergraduate College Admission Office will coordinate meetings with each department to facilitate this effort. Additional work is underway to improve our transfer student intake process to be more efficient and attractive to prospective transfer students, and this work will continue through the year. New programs in nursing and social work will also bolster next year’s new student class.

The Graduate and Bachelor’s Completion Admission Office and the Marketing and Communication Department are meeting with each school at SGPP to help establish enrollment goals and to develop strategies and activities to meet those goals, including extended and targeted advertising and improved prospecting for adult undergraduate and graduate students. New mail and email campaigns have been initiated, and those programs have helped increase the number of inquiries into SGPP programs. SGPP has also made significant efforts to offer certificate and badge programs to encourage adult students to get started with their continuing education goals.

“As we implement and further develop our plans for the upcoming recruiting cycle, we feel well positioned for future semesters, and look forward to working with the entire university community to bolster enrollment,” said Tim Albers, vice president for enrollment management.

Enrollment update

Official enrollment at Saint Mary’s is lower this fall, after a second straight year of significant negative impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Total enrollment at the College is 975 students (936 full time), compared to 1,020 (994 full time) last fall. There is no increase in the freshman class, and a small increase in new transfer students. Enrollment at the SGPP is 3,671 students compared to 4,049 last fall.

Retention for students at the undergraduate level improved this year, from 79% to 80%. Final retention for graduate programs looks promising, but is not final.

“While this year has been difficult across the country for almost all colleges and universities, Saint Mary’s has held its own compared to our sister universities in the Minnesota Private College Council (MPCC),” said Albers. “Transfer enrollment was down across the MPCC, while we saw a bit of an increase, and our retention rates stayed steady, while they dropped at most other institutions.”