How St. Thomas University increased its full-time enrolment

Key Takeaways

  • Increased full-time undergraduate enrolment from 900 to 1,200 students
  • On track to increase enrolment numbers in subsequent years
  • Streamlining processes and improving technology is increasing efficiencies

David A. Armstrong, J.D., President, St. Thomas University

Our headcount a year ago was 4,200 students—sounds like a lot. The problem with that is we only had 900 full-time undergraduate students and about 550 full-time at the law school. Those are the students that pay the bills, and so we knew we had to increase those numbers.

The student population that makes up the 4,200 is a lot of dual-enrolment classes, part-time online. There's not a lot of revenue out of those sources. So, we really concentrated in year one in increasing our full-time enrolment at the university and the law school.

Now starting this fall, we are at 1,200 full-time undergraduate students and over 600 in the law school. So, we went from 1,450 to 1,800, and so that's obviously a positive trend. Now we have a data point. We want to create a positive trend.

How a technology partnership is helping to increase enrolment

I will have to admit, we have not used technology well, and so that's been our biggest challenge. I think we could have done even better. Even though we had a record year, I think we could have done even better.

But as we are working with our partner, Ellucian, we are working through these issues so that we believe that we're going to be able to increase that enrolment in a more effective, efficient, and less costly manner.

Streamlining those processes, getting rid of as many manual input and data situations as we can, that's been the biggest change that we've done so far.

And you know, I would say, obviously, it's effective because the proof's in the pudding. We've brought in a record class and right now, we're running ahead of that record class.

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