Increased Enrollment in D&C – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Increased Enrollment in D&C

The Democrat and Chronicle reported a number of area colleges are experienced increased enrollment this year despite the economy, including Hobart and William Smith College which is expecting 625 new students to arrive this week.

The article notes, “Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva has struggled with enrollment, with the 2009 incoming class below what was targeted. ‘The economy puts a huge strain on everybody,’ said Bob Murphy, vice president for enrollment management and dean of admissions.”

However with incoming first years anticipated to number 625, enrollment for the Classes of 2014 has exceeded the Colleges’ enrollment target, “with more of the accepted students selecting Hobart and William Smith over other colleges that had accepted them,” the article explains.

It goes on to note, “{Bob] Murphy, who took over as chief enrollment officer for Hobart and William Smith last fall, crafted a recruiting message that stresses the sense of community at this institution.” And it quotes him, “At the end of the day what we did really well was project a personal approach to admissions. We didn’t treat people like numbers.”

The full article follows.


Democrat and Chronicle
Area college enrollment strong despite economy

James Goodman • staff writer •August 22, 2010

With new housing for more than 400 students, the $55 million Global Village complex on the campus of Rochester Institute of Technology is a sure sign that the college’s enrollment is growing.

RIT’s student population is approaching 17,000, up about 1,800 from five years ago.

While some higher education institutions nationwide have been left financially strapped by the recession, others have found themselves in greater demand.
Twelve colleges in the Rochester area have weathered the economic downturn, with enrollment totaling more than 86,000 this fall, about 1,000 more than last year.

Nationwide, the college population has grown dramatically, from 8.6 million in 1970 to an estimated 19.7 million this year, in a high-tech economy where special skills can be a ticket to advancement.

“Basic jobs now require some training beyond high school. In a recessed economy, people who lost their jobs realize that they need more skills or different skills, and that will send them back to college,” said Bryan Cook, director for the Center for Policy Analysis of the American Council on Education.

Todd Dewey, 44, of Cazenovia, Madison County, is part of the army of unemployed who have gone back to school. In February 2008, Dewey was laid off from his job as network systems administrator for the Institute for Cardiovascular Research at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse.
He found himself too qualified for some jobs and not qualified for others as he flooded the job market with his résumé – without success.

Dewey and his wife, Christina, have two young children and a third on the way. But with no job prospects in sight, the couple decided he needed a new career.
After taking such courses as calculus and microbiology at Onondaga Community College, Dewey was accepted at St. John Fisher’s Wegmans School of Pharmacy. He’s in a four-year doctor of pharmacy program.

Dewey, who is starting his second year in the program, will work part time as a pharmacy intern. But he has been dipping into his savings and taking out $42,000 a year in federal loans for tuition and living expenses.

“It’s the family’s way out of the recession,” said Dewey about his new career.
Coping with costs

A new study, How America Pays for College, shows that many others are also going into debt to pay for college. The national study is based on a survey of 1,624 college students and parents conducted by Gallup for Sallie Mae, which provides various lending, savings and planning services for college students.

Last school year, according to the survey, the average family spent $24,097 to pay for college costs – 24 percent more than the year before.

Financing a college education, however, remains a problem for many.

“It’s brutal, in a word,” said Jerome Barnes, 36, of Rochester who has six children whom he hopes to put through college.

His oldest daughter Jzmine, 17, graduated from East High School last spring and plans to go to Howard University.

Because the family couldn’t afford the tuition, Jzmine joined the Army Reserve, which Barnes said would pay her tuition so that she could attend Howard in the fall of 2011.

“It is very difficult to find the money,” added Juan Solis, 18, who graduated from Dr. Freddie Thomas High School in the spring and is trying to find funding to attend Finger Lakes Community College in the fall.

Still, community colleges continue to boom.

Monroe Community College is expected to exceed its fall 2009 enrollment of 18,977 – with the total this fall topping 19,000.

Similar trends are evident at Finger Lakes Community College and Genesee Community College.

Four-year colleges in the State University of New York system have felt the loss of state funding the most. State University College at Brockport, for example, will experience a $6.2 million loss in state aid over the four-year fiscal period ending in June 2011.

An underlying problem is that state lawmakers have increased tuition over the years and either kept much of the tuition or reduced state aid to SUNY whenever tuition increases are granted.

SUNY’s operating budget for this fiscal year is $2.3 billion – about $51 million less than last year’s budget. SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher has said that SUNY’s operating budget has been slashed by 30 percent over the last three years.
Proposals were introduced to give SUNY the authority to raise tuition without needing the OK of the state Legislature and to give SUNY schools more leeway in working with the private sector on development issues.

The state budget that was finally approved earlier this month failed to address these proposals in a conclusive way.

Instead, the Democratic majority in the state Senate issued a statement saying that a “framework agreement” on the SUNY issues had been reached that calls for continued negotiations.

Because SUNY tuition – now at $4,970 a year for in-state students – is typically lower than that of private colleges, some SUNY schools have seen a sizable increase in applications. Applications to SUNY Brockport, for example, jumped 9 percent for this fall’s incoming class, to about 9,500.

State University College at Geneseo has seen a change in the demographic makeup of its students – with more of its freshman class coming from the New York City area instead of western New York. Geneseo reduced the size of this school year’s incoming class because last year’s freshman class was larger than expected.

With Geneseo becoming more selective in admissions, the average Scholastic Aptitude Test score for its incoming class is a combined 1,340 for verbal and math. The average verbal and math SAT score for all four-year SUNY schools was 1,150 for last year’s freshman classes.

The growing popularity of SUNY schools, accompanied by a slight drop-off in interest in private colleges, has been evident in the college selections made by Fairport High School students. During the past five years, the number of students going to four-year SUNY schools spiked from 92 to 134 this fall.

Overall, the number of Fairport graduates choosing private colleges – of all kinds – has dipped from 206 in 2006 to 200 this year, while those selecting various public colleges increased from 288 five years ago to 332 this year, said John Serafine, director of counseling at Fairport.

Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva has struggled with enrollment, with the 2009 incoming class below what was targeted. “The economy puts a huge strain on everybody,” said Bob Murphy, vice president for enrollment management and dean of admissions.

But this incoming freshman class – projected to total 625 – exceeds the enrollment target, with more of the accepted students selecting Hobart and William Smith over other colleges that had accepted them.

Murphy, who took over as chief enrollment officer for Hobart and William Smith last fall, crafted a recruiting message that stresses the sense of community at this institution.

“At the end of the day what we did really well was project a personal approach to admissions. We didn’t treat people like numbers,” Murphy said.

He also doubled – to 120 – the number of merit scholarships offered to incoming students and assigned recruitment officers in New York City, Baltimore and Boston.
Global visions

At the University of Rochester, tuition and room and board will cost $51,120 this school year.

But that did not stop UR from having a stellar year in admissions.
The incoming class is expected to total almost 1,200 – well above the goal of 1,125. Here, too, more of the accepted applicants than expected chose UR over other colleges.

Students from 45 states and 55 other countries will attend UR this year.
Scholarship money offered by UR increased to $25.8 million for first-year students. Another $86 million was available for the remaining undergraduates at UR’s College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering.

At RIT, Global Village will not only add 414 beds but should also help create a better sense of community on campus.

In the southwest quadrant of the campus, two residence buildings have replaced about 210 beds in older buildings that were torn down.

A four-story courtyard building – the heart of Global Village – surrounds a 28,000-square-foot terrace with a 9-foot-high glass wall, which will have water continually flowing over it for part of the year.

Near the water wall is a large area that can be frozen over for an ice rink in the winter.

Mexican, Mongolian and sushi restaurants – all with outdoor as well as indoor seating – will be housed in the courtyard building. An art store showcasing work done by RIT students and faculty will be there as well.

Pike Co. is the construction manager for the project. The housing will be ready for this fall’s students, with stores opening by early fall.

“It’s like a town square, said Jim Yarrington, director of campus planning, design and construction for RIT.

JGOODMAN@DemocratandChronicle.com