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Who's Enrolled?

by Tod Massa 15. December 2017 22:12

Periodically, we have discussions where folks wrestle with reconciling forward-looking measures like cohort graduation rates and backward-looking measures like time-to-degree. There are also frequent quotes in the higher ed press of institutional and think-tank people of stating the a first-time, full-time cohort of students is a small fraction of total enrollment. I thought I would try and add a little clarity before the holidays. Think of it as a gift.

Take a look at the table below. I took all the classified undergraduates enrolled in the public four-year institutions this fall, and identified their status at first enrollment at their current institution, and the year they enrolled. Out of almost 165,000 students, 75% had begun at their current institution as first-time in college (in Virginia, about 98% or so are full-time any given year), and 25% were transfers.

  Status at Entry of Students Enrolled in 2016-17  
                  First-Time In College                        Transfer-In
Starting Year               N              %                 N              % 
1994-95                      13 0.01%                       11 0.01%
1995-96                      16 0.01%                       10 0.01%
1996-97                      24 0.01%                         8 0.00%
1997-98                      25 0.01%                       19 0.01%
1998-99                      18 0.02%                         6 0.00%
1999-00                      34 0.02%                       23 0.01%
2000-01                      32 0.02%                       18 0.01%
2001-02                      43 0.03%                       33 0.02%
2002-03                      55 0.03%                       27 0.02%
2003-04                      61 0.04%                       43 0.03%
2004-05                      69 0.04%                       56 0.03%
2005-06                      76 0.05%                      54 0.03%
2006-07                     102 0.06%                      80 0.05%
2007-08                     128 0.08%                      95 0.06%
2008-09                     221 0.13%                     153 0.09%
2009-10                     329 0.20%                     226 0.14%
2010-11                     618 0.37%                     338 0.20%
2011-12                   1,547 0.94%                     615 0.37%
2012-13                   6,341 3.85%                  1,492 0.90%
2013-14                 24,426 14.81%                  3,959 2.40%
2014-15                 25,852 15.68%                  9,605 5.83%
2015-16                 29,514 17.90%                13,102 7.95%
2016-17                 33,653 20.41%                11,713 7.10%
Total              123,197 74.72%                41,686 25.28%

 

Clearly, and unsurprisingly, the bulk of the enrollment is in the last four years, with the current year being the largest single cohort of students. There's nothing earth-shattering here. Just stuff we all know, but probably don't think about. The fact we have 23 years range of experience in terms of when students entered the institution is pretty interesting. How much awareness and effort do we put into these students?


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