Enrollment Management at UW-Madison: What Story Do the Numbers Tell?

March 11, 2013 | Blog

Working on some shared governance tasks this evening, and time with this data really got me thinking.

For the first time, probably in UW-Madison’s history, we are enrolling more legacy students than first-generation students.  

Enrollment of Wisconsin residents is at an historic low, while enrollment of international students is at an historic high.

Enrollment is a function of applications, admit rates, and yield. Arguably, changes in policies around cost and campus climate (e.g. the Madison Initiative for Undergraduates– see below) most often affect the yield. So let’s look at the yield rates– the percent of students who accept the admissions offer and choose to attend Madison.  They are quite stable for some groups, but declining for others.

By the numbers, of the 6,279 new freshmen who enrolled at UW-Madison in 2012:

1,119 are children of parents who attended UW-Madison
1,033 do not have a college-educated parent
   609 are not from the United States
   269  are Hispanic
   143  are African American
  101   are Southeast Asian
   51   are American Indian

Of note:

Biddy Martin became chancellor of Madison on June 5, 2008. Her Madison Initiative for Undergraduates, which increased campus tuition, began in 2009.  She explicitly targeted enrollment growth among first generation and international students.  She left the university in June 2011 but her enrollment policies remain intact to this day. What do these numbers have to say about her legacy?

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