ENROLLMENT MANAGEMENT STRATEGIC
PLANNING AND BUDGETING UPDATE 1
August 30, 2007
In 2002, the Office of the Provost and Chief Academic Officer created an 18 member
representative task force to develop a five-year strategic plan for enrollment Management at
Howard University, which after review and approval by appropriate University officials, would
be used to manage strategically student enrollment consistent with the University‘s general
academic mission. For purposes of the current long-term strategic planning process, the prior
plan is summarized here and will be updated and implemented during the designated planning
period consistent with the President and Provost‘s strategic planning criteria.
The purpose of the Howard University five-year enrollment management plan is to provide a
systematic evaluation of the University‘s current enrollment situation, design strategies to
achieve approved enrollment missions and goals, and ensure that University are used efficiently.
The plan seeks to develop consensus regarding goals and priorities for the management of
student enrollment at the undergraduate, graduate and professional school levels and facilitate
creative thinking and new approaches to problem solving. At the base of the initial Enrollment
Management plan were twenty-two (22) assumptions. They included variables such as optimum
student enrollment and distribution, student retention, financial and personnel resource
allocation, admissions criteria, program review and development, physical facilities use, and
faculty retirement and workload.
The initial plan took into account the higher education environment in which Howard functions
and must compete, and offered recommendations for action that will strengthen the University as
it seeks to remain competitive and continues to provide high quality education to a diverse
population of high achieving students. The plan also recognized Howard‘s long tradition of
providing high-quality education and its unique status as a premier comprehensive university. It
detailed the steps the University will have to take to compete for students in the changing higher
education environment. Also, it recommended that the University address several issues to
ensure success in the recruitment, enrollment and retention of its undergraduate and graduate
The Enrollment Management division, under the Office of the Provost and Chief Academic Officer, includes the
following Offices: Admission (Ms. Linda Sanders Hawkins; Registrar/Records (Ms. Carol McKinnon); Student
Financial Services (Mr. Sevester Bell); and Financial Aid, Scholarships and Student Employment (Mr. Marcus
DeCosta). The Enrollment Management units report to the Provost through Dr. Alvin Thornton, Associate Provost.
The current Enrollment Management strategic Planning and Budgeting document summaries the Enrollment
Management unit‘s on-going strategic planning and budgeting process, which is contained in a previously developed
Five Year Master Plan for Enrollment Management. The initial Enrollment Master Plan is available in the Office of
the Provost and Chief Academic Officer.
student populations. The plan recommended that the University expand available financial aid
packages to make them more competitive with peer institutions; more effectively use alumni and
support centers to recruit students from defined recruitment areas; and interact effectively with
the potential students and their parents to ensure that they understand the benefits of pursuing
higher education in Washington, D.C.
Recognizing Howard‘s goals of providing access to higher education to a broad range of
students, the plan described a pilot, targeted undergraduate admission program that the Office of
Admission would present to Deans and the Provost for review. The pilot program took into
consideration students‘ high school academic performance and standardized test scores, focuses
on their demonstrated ability to overcome obstacles, and considers the degree to which they
prepared themselves to contribute to and gain from the Howard University experience.
At the base of the five-year Enrollment Management strategic plan were the enrollment
projections for schools and colleges. In developing the five-year plan, the Graduate School and
each school and college were asked to submit five-year enrollment projections with appropriate
programmatic, faculty, facilities, and resource considerations. The projections had to be
consistent with the SFA-II goal of increasing the graduate and professional school percentage of
the University‘s enrollment (60 to 40 percent undergraduate to graduate enrollment distribution)
and not exceed the 12,000 five-year total enrollment goal and 1,400 FTIC ceiling
During the five years of the Enrollment Management strategic plan, it is anticipated that the
University would augment projected increases in financial aid for students with continuing
improvement in academic program and administrative efficiency, increased faculty research
grant and instructional productivity, and further development of facilities and technological
An important component of enrollment management is the efficient delivery of student financial
services to facilitate their payment of educational costs in a manner that is consistent with
Howard‘s financial interests and students‘ educational objectives. The five-year objective of the
Office of Student Financial Services is to continue to improve services, integrate relevant
technology, and reduce the outstanding balance in accounts receivables. Projecting student
enrollment without considering the implications for physical facilities would not be responsible.
During the five-year period, major maintenance projects will have to be addressed if the
enrollment management objectives are to be achieved.
The plan included a set of interim enrollment management recommendations affecting admission
and recruitment, records, financial aid and student affairs. The forward-looking dimension of the
plan is its final section that deals with a five-year strategic enrollment management plan of action
that involves the appointment of an individual to lead the effort, prioritizing objectives, filling
gaps in critical areas, revising programming, and more effectively leveraging resources. The
final revised Enrollment Management strategic plan will include as assessment and evaluation
component, which will address performance criteria, measuring instruments, feedback
mechanisms, and procedures by which the plan will be modified.
ENROLLMENT MANAGEMENT STRATEGIC
PLANNING AND BUDGETING
The Enrollment Management Task Force and
Strategic Plan Development
In 2002, the Office of the Provost and Chief Academic Officer created an 18 member
representative task force to develop a five-year plan for strategic enrollment management at
Howard University, which the University would use to manage student enrollment, implement
long-range revenue projections and conduct cost analyses.3 The Offices of Enrollment
Management, Financial Aid, Student Financial Services, ISAS, Physical Facilities Management,
Special Student Services, Residence Life, Human Resources, and the Provost provided data and
information required to develop the plan. In addition, each school and college submitted
enrollment projections, faculty data and program review information. For purposes of the
current long-term strategic planning process, the prior plan is summarized here and will be
updated, revised and implemented during the designated strategic planning period consistent
with the President and Provost strategic planning criteria.
Purpose and Goals of the Strategic Plan
The Howard University five-year enrollment management strategic plan is designed to provide a
systematic evaluation of the University‘s current enrollment patterns and design strategies to
achieve specific enrollment goals of the University and its various schools and colleges. The plan
includes goals and priorities for the management of student enrollment at the undergraduate,
graduate and professional school levels, describes challenges that must be overcome, and
suggests new approaches to decision-making.
The five-year plan, in its present form, is an evolving document that is designed to organize and
coordinate planning, ensure efficient use of University resources, and identify the need for
additional resources. The plan also locates responsibility and accountability for the achievement
of goals and objectives. It includes interrelated drivers (goals, strategies, objectives and
activities) that will result in the realization of the University‘s enrollment targets. The plan
covers a five-year period and will serve as a coordinating tool for activities of the Offices of
Admission, Registrar/Records, Financial Aid, Student Financial Services, Technical Services and
related offices. Also, it will serve as a guide for task assignment, resource identification and
allocation, and program evaluation.
The task force was composed of the following individuals: (1) Dr. Carmen Cannon (2) Dr. Alvin Thornton, (3)
Dean James Donaldson (4) Dean Orlando Taylor (5) Ms. Diane Wyatt-Hammond (6) Mr. Vancito Wallace (7) Ms.
Carol McKinnon (8) Ms. Djuna Bridges (9) Mr. Gregory Spriggs (10) Mr. Cecil Franklin (11) Mr. Steven Johnson
(12) Dr. Charles Moore (13) Mr. Carey Baldwin (14) Mr. Sevester Bell, (15) Mr. Tyrone Barksdale, (16) Dr. Joseph
Reidy, (17) Ms. LaRue Barkwell, and (18) Ms. Regina Drake.
The plan for the management of enrollment at Howard University focuses on realistic and
achievable goals and objectives. It is structured to be user friendly and adaptable to changing
situations and circumstances. Although the plan cannot guarantee specific outcomes, it will
guide the University‘s approach to enrollment management and related issues in a manner that
enables it to take advantage of opportunities and avoid pitfalls. The plan will also help decision-
makers organize their thinking about the enrollment goals that the University wants to achieve
and the best practices that must be employed to achieve them. When the plan is fully
implemented, the University will be able to use its key performance indicators, as defined by the
Board of Trustees, and quantifiable measures of success to identify the Plan‘s strengths and
Academic program reviews (departmental self-study/academic and non-academic program
review) are an essential part of a master plan for enrollment management. They bring strategic
planning, strategic management, and enrollment management to the departmental level. The
academic review process, which is linked to recruitment and retention, considers program
quality, the nexus between programs and institutional mission, cost, need/demand, productivity,
and program duplication.
Another important part of the plan is the assessment of the external environment that affects the
University‘s ability to achieve its enrollment objectives. Factors that define the external
environment are related to: economic considerations, the activities of competitors, demographic
issues, characteristics of market segments, and academic competitiveness of students. Equally as
important to the success of Howard‘s enrollment management plan is the general perception of
the quality of education the University provides and its internal environment, which includes
faculty, staff, students, programs of instruction, degrees offered, other academic programs and
services, non-instructional programs and services, and campus facilities. The plan includes
assumptions on which the work of the Task Force is based and provides a model for overall
University enrollment, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs.
Enrollment Management Assumptions
Twenty-two assumption are at the base of the enrollment management plan. They include
variables such as optimum enrollment and student distribution, student retention, financial and
personnel resource allocation, admissions criteria, program review and development, physical
facilities use, and faculty retirement and workload. The assumptions extend from the Board of
Trustees‘ performance indicators, the University‘s Strategic Frameworks for Action I and II,
Cabinet-level discussion concerning the future direction of the University, recommendations that
resulted from the Middle-States accreditation process, self-study reports and program reviews,
and Enrollment Management reports. The assumptions are presented below.
1. The optimum undergraduate, graduate, and professional student enrollment is 12,000
students and the annual FTIC population will be capped at 1,400 (Continuing
Education and Metropolitan College enrollment not included).
2. At the end of the five-year enrollment period, the undergraduate to
graduate/professional school ratio will be 60/40.
3. A review will be conducted of the number and distribution of international students
and the services provided to them.
4. Enrollment in the proposed Metropolitan College (derived from the Continuing
Education unit) will expand.
5. There will be a realignment and enhancement of resources, where appropriate, to
manage the redefined programs and student population.
6. There will be an increase in first choice enrollment at Howard, which will enhance
opportunities for attracting national achievement scholars and high achieving
7. There will be an increase in the male undergraduate and graduate student population.
8. The SAT/ACT admission criteria will remain steady, while schools and colleges
assess the modification of the test format. The use of standardized tests as graduate
and professional school admission criteria will remain under review.
9. Howard University will continue to be accessible to students with potential who score
below mandated school and college SAT/ACT scores.
10. The number of transfer students enrolling at Howard will increase each year primarily
as a result of the implementation of formal articulation agreements.
11. The retention rate for undergraduate, graduate and professional students will increase
by 2% during each of the next five years.
12. Graduate school enrollment will increase by 700 students over the next five years,
while undergraduate enrollment and enrollment in professional schools (Law,
Medicine and Dentistry) will remain constant.
13. There will be a shift of resources to support the graduate area in the form of
14. There will be an increase in financial aid resources to accommodate the redesigned
mix of students.
15. There will be an increase in the number of students who have the ability to fund their
16. Each school and college will develop and implement five-year enrollment
17. There will be an enhanced and coordinated recruitment effort involving the Graduate
School, graduate level programs, professional schools and undergraduate admission.
18. There will be ongoing program reviews and decisions about program continuation,
elimination or enhancement.
19. There will be an alignment of physical facilities and classroom space with the new
student mix and program distribution.
20. The five-year enrollment plan will be adjusted to respond to recommendations from
the proposed post-tenure review process.
21. Results from the implementation of the July 2000 revised faculty workload policy
will be factored into the five-year enrollment management master plan.
22. A targeted faculty and staff early retirement plan will be proposed to facilitate the
development of faculty and staff cohorts that are consistent with the objectives of the
five-year enrollment plan.
THE HIGHER EDUCATION ENVIRONMENT AFFECTING SUCCESSFUL ENROLLMENT
MANAGEMENT AT HOWARD UNIVERSITY
Review of the External Environment
The higher education environment in which Howard functions and competes has changed
dramatically. To remain competitive and continue to provide high quality education to a
diverse population of high-achieving students, the University will have to take advantage
of many opportunities and overcome many challenges. Changing student and family
characteristics will have to be managed within the context of national and international
economic developments. Issues involving the cost and value of higher education, federal
and state policies and regulations concerning diversity, access, and the matriculation of
international students will dramatically affect the higher education environment during
the next five years. In addition, the emergence of technology (information systems
platforms and tools) as a gateway for the delivery of higher education will continue to be
a critical variable. The University‘s firm commitment to the development and
maintenance of a modern and integrated instructional and administrative system of
technology, aligned with student, faculty and staff training, must be maintained in order
for it to remain competitive in the current educational environment.
Opportunities and Challenges
In the developing higher education environment, Howard University is poised to take
advantage of many opportunities, but will face significant challenges as it provides
undergraduate and graduate educational opportunities to a broad range of students.
Decisions that high school students and their families make about which institution of
higher education in which to enroll may be affected by a desire to remain closer to home.
This dynamic may result in increased enrollment of students from the Washington
Metropolitan Area, but decreased enrollment from states significantly beyond the region,
especially the West Coast. The performance of the economy will continue to affect
student enrollment, affecting the cost of education and shaping post graduation options. A
declining economy could result in prospective undergraduates attending community
colleges, thereby necessitating more focus by the University on high achieving transfer
It is reasonable to anticipate that students in the traditional pool from which
Howard recruits will continue to be discerning about the cost-benefit ratio
associated with their decision to pursue their education at Howard University.
Consequently, if Howard is to continue to compete for highly qualified students
who cannot always finance their education it will have to offer very competitive
In an environment characterized by many challenges, Howard will have many
opportunities on which it can focus to continue its status as an excellent institution
of higher education defined by its research intensive character. During the next
five years the number of college-age students will grow. The growth pattern will
be defined in part by the continuing unmet needs of African American students
and the expanding higher education needs of Latino and other students from
developing nations. A diverse array of post-secondary institutions of higher
education will be competing for the opportunity to provide education to these
students. Howard is uniquely positioned to develop the ―pipeline of African
American and other under served students to receive advanced degrees at Howard
and other universities.
An effective enrollment management plan depends on accurate and current
information about the market value of higher education and why students attend
college. According to undergraduate student matriculation data taken from the
2000 U.S. Census, published in the Chronicle of Higher Education, the top four
reasons students attend four-year institutions are to learn more about what
interests them; obtain a better job; seek training for specific career; and earn more
money. Most of the students in the survey sought admission to at least three
institutions of higher education, more than two-thirds (69%) were attending their
first choice college, and 43% planned to earn a masters degree.
During the past decade, securing post baccalaureate education has become more
important. The role of graduate and professional schools in providing post
baccalaureate education has become more complex. The factors that are affecting
the context in which graduate and professional education is being provided
o The expanded influence of the corporate sector in post baccalaureate
education and the emergence of corporate universities;
o The national trend toward development of interdisciplinary programs;
o A booming 1990s economy that drew students to high paying job
opportunities (now followed by a declining economy that may draw
students back to graduate programs);
o The graying of the academy, resulting in increasing demands for new
faculty and staff, especially African-American faculty and staff, many of
whom are produced by Howard University;
o Increasing competition for the best African-American students, who are
often attracted to majority institutions that offer generous stipends and
attractive study and research environments;
o The emergence of distance education and increasing popularity of
graduate certificate programs;
o A focus on broader preparation of doctoral students for the professoriate
and for professional careers;
o Expansion of traditional undergraduate student support programs--such as
retention, mentoring, and career services--to the graduate level; and
o The use of technology in administrative processes.
The Howard University Environment
Because of its long tradition of providing high quality education and its unique
status as a premier comprehensive university, Howard University has had to
devote fewer resources than average to student recruitment. At Howard,
applications for admission have always exceeded the number of spaces available
and the yield of enrolled students from those accepted for admission has always
been high. However, beginning in the late 1990s, as both the University‘s
standards for admission and competition for outstanding African-American
students increased, it became necessary for the University to begin developing
more attractive programs and implementing more aggressive recruitment
strategies. A concerted effort was made to increase the number of applications
from academically talented first-time-in-college (FTIC) students and to enroll as
many of them as possible.
The strategy has been to recruit as many students as possible and to accommodate
them as much as possible—by providing generous financial aid, making
convenient payment arrangements, and making other special accommodations.
Although this strategy has been relatively successful, it has not contributed
significantly to overall enrollment gains nor to reducing the University‘s tuition
discounting rate. This front-end loading model results in a relatively high
freshman-to-sophomore retention rate. However, because the University does not
have a fully integrated University-wide student retention program, too many
students have extended graduation schedules or do not graduate.
Organization of Enrollment Management at
Management of student enrollment at Howard has followed a decentralized
model, with schools and colleges, as well as administrative units, operating
independently and seldom communicating and coordinating their goals, plans, and
activities with their counterparts. At the graduate and professional levels, each
school or college has had primary responsibility for its own admission policies,
procedures, and processing. At the undergraduate level the Office of Enrollment
Management has had primary responsibility for the major elements of enrollment
management—recruitment, admission, financial aid, and student records. It also
has had responsibility for processing applications from a few graduate programs.
Some elements of enrollment management--such as orientation, housing, financial
aid, student accounts--are the responsibility of units in various divisions of the
University, while other critical elements, such as retention programs and
initiatives, do not exist campus-wide.
The offices most intricately involved in enrollment management—Enrollment
Management, Financial Aid, Technical Services, and Student Financial
Services—have common strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges that
affect the University‘s ability to meet current and future enrollment goals.
Common strengths include competent staff members and the availability of
integrated data systems; weaknesses include insufficient staffing, office space,
equipment and supplies and underutilization of the available data systems.
Although the offices share opportunities to improve customer service and increase
revenue, they are threatened by the depressed U.S. economy and rising costs, new
government regulations related to international students (SEVIS) and financial aid
The goals of the Office of Enrollment Management, the unit that has had primary
responsibility for coordinating enrollment management activities, include:
o Recruiting, enrolling, and providing support services to students who have the
potential to benefit from, contribute to, and successfully complete University
o Improving student retention and graduation rates;
o Maintaining optimal student enrollment levels;
o Providing a level of customer service that will result in a highly positive
image of Enrollment Management in particular and the University in general;
o Utilizing available technology to improve communication, increase
operational efficiency, reduce costs, and leverage resources.
The overall success of enrollment management activities in higher education is
usually evaluated based on enrollment and graduation of students. Howard‘s
success in reaching these goals has traditionally been measured according to key
performance indicators provided in the Government Performance Results Act
(GPRA)--recruiting better students, improving FTIC student retention, and
improving graduation rates. The University has continued to make progress in
the intake areas, attracting larger, more academically qualified entering classes
than in previous years and maintaining or increasing total enrollment, but has
failed to meet its objectives in the output area due to a slight decline in the six-
year graduation rate.
Recruitment and Admission
Although national recruiting increases the number of applicants to the University,
applications are also generated as a result of the quality of information about the
University available on its web site, perceptions of family members, guidance
counselors and impressions from visits to campus.
Howard University uses several indices of academic achievement to identify and
recruit first-time-in-college and transfer students for admission. Howard targets
FTIC students who have SAT scores above 1000 and ACT scores above 22 and
high school grade point averages of 3.00 or higher. Additional desirable indices
include participation in honor societies; a high school curriculum that includes
advanced placement, International Baccalaureate and accelerated courses; and
evidence of leadership and community service. Students seeking to transfer into
Howard University are required to have a 2.50 or higher cumulative college grade
point average earned at an accredited institution of higher education in at least 15
credit hours that include college-level English and mathematics.
In spite of the fact that high achieving African American students are recruited
aggressively by more than 3,000 institutions, Howard University historically has
attracted a substantial percentage of these students. However, enrolling these
students continues to be a challenge because the number of students who make up
the targeted population is small and competition for them is increasing.
While reports indicate that Howard has a comfortable market share of available
high achieving students, the University must seek and evaluate its recruitment and
admission strategies in order to remain competitive. Fortunately, Howard
University has a number of competitive advantages that are highlighted in its
recruitment programs and are appealing to undergraduate, graduate, and
professional students. They include:
Howard University‘s academic traditions and success of its alumni
produce instantaneous market recognition.
Howard is the only research focused comprehensive historically African
American institution that offers a variety of undergraduate programs as
well as graduate and professional programs.
Howard University was ranked 25th by US News and World Report‘s Best
Buys edition and cited as a bargain because of its low annual cost of
$9,515 for undergraduate study.
The University‘s location in the nation‘s capitol, which provides Howard
students with access to internships on Capitol Hill, and full-time
employment with government agencies and Fortune 500 corporations
located throughout the Metropolitan Washington Area.
Although Howard University has been, and still is, a leader in educating African
American and underrepresented students, it is facing a number of challenges. A
small and well-prepared pool of African American and minority students is
available; students have access to more information about colleges and
universities and the educational programs they offer; students are more discerning
in the decisions they make about which institution to attend; and majority serving
institutions are attempting to diversify their campuses by enrolling the best and
brightest African American students. Students with very competitive academic
credentials are being recruited and as early as their sophomore year. To achieve
its five-year enrollment objectives, Howard will have to aggressively identify and
recruit these students. The University will have to address several issues to ensure
success in the recruitment, enrollment and retention of its undergraduate student
population. At a minimum, it will have to:
expand available financial aid packages to make them more competitive
with those of peer institutions;
more effectively use alumni and support centers to recruit students from
defined recruitment areas; and
interact effectively with potential students and their families and advocates
to ensure that they understand the benefits of pursuing higher education in
More effective recruitment strategies will help the University achieve its enrollment
objectives. To reach its undergraduate and graduate enrollment objectives, the University
will have to implement a number of initiatives, which will have to be undertaken.
Contact with students and parents must begin during the student‘s sophomore
year of high school. This will require the purchase of the names of
sophomore student from independent search agencies. These databases can
then be used to develop strategic communications links with the students and
their parents. The University will also be able to select different populations
of students by major, gender, economic indicators in a manner that will allow
the University to identify students that meet the enrollment projections
identified in the Master Plan.
Devise a more coordinated graduate and professional student recruitment
strategy. Such a strategy will require more recruitment travel, targeted
publications and improved infrastructure.
Contract with outside vendor to manage increased student and parent
Design an aggressive campaign to contact prospective parents to assist them
with issues dealing with navigating the admission and financial aid process.
Increase the need based financial aid pool to assist students who need
financial assistance. Thirty-six (36%) percent of Howard‘s students receive a
100 percent tuition discount, whereas 48 percent of its students receive no
discount. The University has to develop financial aid and enrollment
projections based on supplementing the cost of attending.
Implement more efficient student services that address student academic,
financial aid, housing, and extra-curricular activity needs. Success in this area
will aid the University‘s effort to enroll and retain excellent students and reach
Tier I status.
Projecting Undergraduate FTIC Student Enrollment
The Office of Admission will develop a more scientific approach to the determination of
the number and type of FTIC students that will be required to reach the University‘s
overall annual and five-year enrollment projections. Several factors will be helpful in
achieving the annual and five-year enrollment projections.
The matriculation patterns of sophomores, juniors and seniors will be used to
project the number of freshman and transfer students that are required to fill the
1. The Admission Office will determine the probability of students enrolling
from specific academic and financial backgrounds. One scenario would
be to develop a database indicating the number of students who were
offered admission to Howard University who subsequently applied for
Financial Aid. From this database, the Admission Office can determine
the average financial award given by SAT range for students who enrolled
versus students who did not enroll.
There is a clear correlation between the level and type of financial aid offered and the
probability of students enrolling as freshman at Howard. This is demonstrated in the
example above for students whose SAT scores were between 1000 and 1090. The
Admission Office will analyze financial aid and enrollment decision data to determine the
implications for FTIC enrollment and the ability of the University to achieve its
enrollment projections. This analysis will assist the University with its assessment of the
level of additional aid that may be required to recruit students with designated academic
credentials. The analysis will also assist with decisions about the degree to which
financial aid should be awarded based on merit or need.
An important dimension of the mission of Howard University is providing educational
opportunities and access to students with demonstrated potential who do not present
competitive scores on traditional standardized text indicators of academic achievement.
The Office of Admission will develop a pilot undergraduate admission program for
consideration by Deans and the Provost that takes into consideration a student‘s academic
performance and standardized test scores and focuses on the obstacles they have faced
and how they have prepared themselves to contribute to and gain from the Howard
University experience. Although the SAT is a widely accepted measure of a student‘s
academic potential, it has many limitations as primary indicators of academic potential.
This pilot program will help the University determine the validity of standardized tests in
assessing the academic achievement of Howard University undergraduate students. The
program will not apply to student athletes.
Enrollment Management in the Graduate and Professional
Schools and Colleges
While competition for African American students at the undergraduate level is
intense, at the graduate level it is even more intense. Recognizing this intensity,
the Graduate School has been increasingly aggressive in its effort to remain
competitive. It has produced a state-of-the-art recruitment CD and has enhanced
its website for easier access to departments, forms and, information. The inquiry
process has been streamlined to provide a 24 to 48 hour response time to
prospective students. In addition, it has implemented a scanning process for
departmental review committees to reduce the time required to make decisions
concerning pending files.
In spite of improvements in its recruitment and admission materials and
processes, the Graduate School still faces important challenges, including:
o declining enrollments in a number of programs—especially in the sciences
o stipends for graduate students that are well below national, regional, and
peer institution averages;
o inadequate involvement by faculty in scholarship and publication in their
field and in proposal-writing for external grants;
o space limitations for program expansion;
o outdated program curricula; and
o low number of faculty who seek appointment to the Graduate Faculty.
Strategic Involvement of Student Exchange, Study Abroad and
Consortium Programs in Enrollment Management
An attractive dimension of being an undergraduate or graduate student at Howard
University is the opportunity to take advantage of domestic exchange and study
abroad programs and access educational opportunities through the Consortium of
Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area. In addition to Howard, the
Consortium includes the following universities: Gallaudet, Marymount,
Southeastern, University of Maryland College Park, George Washington,
Georgetown, Catholic, American, George Mason Universities and Trinity
College. These programs give students opportunities to experience different
educational and cultural environments while remaining students of Howard
University. Official exchange opportunities are available to Howard
undergraduate students at a diverse array of universities.
A unit house in the Ralph Bunche International Affairs Center administers the
Study Aboard program and the Office of Enrollment Management manages the
domestic exchange and Consortium programs. Some schools and colleges
administer aspects of study abroad programs in which their students participate.
To increase the efficiency of the operations of these programs, the University will
review the administrative structure under which the programs are
increase staff and resource support for the programs;
develop common program literature; and
develop outreach strategies to inform students of program opportunities.
In order for the University to manage its enrollment in a manner that will enable it
to reach the student enrollment goals outlined in SFA II, it will be necessary to
strengthen its marketing and recruitment efforts by:
o developing a plan for coordination of recruitment and admission processes
for undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools and colleges;
o increasing funding to provide entry-level financial support to students, in
the form of need-based freshman grants, transfer scholarships and
o increasing funding to support recruitment publications, web development,
CDs, and travel;
o developing and providing support for University-wide marketing plan to
coordinate university publications, advertising, and web development; and
o providing additional financial support to ISAS for web development and
Banner implementation and upgrades.
The University made great strides during the past few years in its effort to coordinate,
update, and communicate its enrollment management activities. To ensure that the
University constituents were informed about events and activities—especially those
related to admission and registration—EM launched a campaign to improve its
communication with its constituents. The campaign included development of a new
application for admission and new marketing material; extensive use of e-mail to reach
enrolled and prospective students and University employees; presentations to campus and
community groups; and a major update of the EM web page and related links; and
announcing registration and other EM updates on the web, voicemail, the campus
network, and in the Hilltop.
Student Affairs and Enrollment Management
As Howard University moves to increase its graduate and professional student enrollment
during the next five years, it will be necessary for Student Affairs to re-assess its mission,
approach and programmatic thrusts. It will have to discover ―best practices‖ for
enhancing learning and continued personal development for graduate and professional
students. In addition, it will have to consult directly with colleagues at Tier One
institutions with large graduate enrollments for insights. This multi-phased process,
keeping the uniqueness of Howard in clear focus, will facilitate the development of the
most efficient approach for the delivery of student services and enhancing personal
development. By so doing, Student Affairs will advance one of its major goals: to
produce graduates who have ―a coherent integrated sense of identity, self-esteem,
confidence, integrity, aesthetic sensibilities and civic responsibility.‖ (―The Student
Learning Imperative: Implications for Student Affairs‖ – American College Personnel
To help Student Affairs move in the direction required by the enrollment plan, a number
of additional services would have to be provided. They include:
Additional family housing for students (perhaps in existing buildings) with
appropriate programming for spouses and children;
Specialized career services in close collaboration with schools and colleges;
More advanced leadership training and opportunities;
Effective and appropriate orientation processes;
Enhanced support services for graduate and professional student organizations;
Enhanced support services for international graduate and professional students;
Provision of counseling services and support groups addressing needs of graduate
and professional students.
In addition, the University will have to assign higher priority to the personal development
and affective learning needs of graduate and professional students. Because many of
Howard‘s graduate and professional students will have loyalties to their undergraduate
institutions, the University will have to invest resources in initiatives that create a sense
of belonging and a positive regard for Howard as ―Alma Mater‖ for these students. This
process begins while they are prospective graduate students and continue through
orientation, leadership training opportunities, attendance at key University events.
Additionally, Student Affairs will use intercollegiate athletics, recognition programs,
intramural clubs and other activities to develop positive relationships between Howard‘s
graduate and professional students.
First-Time in College Students
As student enrollment increases and characteristics of the student body change, the
University will have to redistribute its resources and secure additional ones. New and
renovated academic labs (i.e., Modern Languages lab, Biology labs, and social science
labs) will have to be provided, departmental supplies and expense budgets will have to be
significantly enhanced, and the University will have to align additional faculty in a
manner consistent with student enrollment. In their enrollment projections and projected
resource needs, Deans of Schools and Colleges will indicate areas where enhancement
will be needed in specific areas. This information is included in the Enrollment
Projection section of the report and presented in the budget summarized in the budget
summary section of the Plan.
Although competition to attract the ―best and the brightest‖ African-American students at
the undergraduate level has increased dramatically during the past few years, Howard has
been successful in enrolling large incoming classes of students with high test scores and
strong academic records. It has also been successful in attracting significant numbers of
Gender Issues Related to Student Enrollment
Undergraduate males outnumbered undergraduate females at Howard University until the
1976-77 academic year. In that year, the number of female undergraduates exceeded the
number of males 50.8% to 49.2%. Since then, the gap in female and male undergraduate
has steadily increased. It was not until the 1979-80 academic year that the percentage of
female students among the University‘s total population exceeded that of male students.
The increased percentage of female students reflects the lessening of traditional barriers
to their access to higher education and the fact that they are more focused academically
and take advantage of opportunities presented to them. The decline in the percentage of
male students results from structural and systemic barriers, and in too many instances,
individual choices that are against their best interest. Female and male enrollment
patterns at Howard have implications for other operations of the University. It affects
student housing, activities, and social relations.
To address this phenomenon during the next five years, the University must achieve
complimentary goals, continue to meet the matriculation needs of its female students
while engaging in a strategic recruitment and retention program directed at male students.
Each school and college should be required to examine their recruitment, admission and
retention records involving male students and design appropriate intervention strategies.
International Student Recruitment, Enrollment and Matriculation
Howard University has a long and rich history of educating students from around the
world, especially students from developing nations. Graduate and undergraduate
international student enrollment is an important component of the University‘s student
body. Among the issues that the University will have to address to manage the
enrollment of international students are:
how to fully recover from the tuition surcharge that was congressionally imposed
on international students attending Howard;
how to award institutional financial aid in a manner that meets the needs of
international and domestic students;
how to implement federal SEVIS regulations in a manner that accomplishes
federal mandates and continues international student access to Howard
how to ensure that the University environment and extra-curricular activity
programming are sensitive to the needs and interests of international students.
Managing the Enrollment Needs of Special Needs Students
The third category of students—those self-identifying as having disabilities covered
under ADA legislation--is one in which enrollment numbers have doubled during the past
two years. The number of students self-identifying as having disabilities covered under
ADA legislation is increasing each year at the University. The Office of the Dean for
Special Student Services (ODSSS), which is responsible for accommodating ADA
students at Howard, cites three primary reasons for the increase in enrollment of students
covered by ADA legislation:
An increased number of students at the K-12 level who are being tested and
documented as having learning disabilities;
An increased number of disabled students who, because of support in the K-
12 years, are becoming eligible for college and are being encouraged to apply;
The assurance to disabled students--based on legally required full disclosure
of the opportunities and accommodations that colleges provide to disabled
students—that they will receive the necessary support to matriculate
There are significant fiscal implications that result from the increased enrollment of
disabled students at Howard each year. Many of the services that must be provided are
STUDENT FINANCIAL CONSIDERATIONS
The Office of Financial Aid, Scholarships, and Student Employment supports student
success through service, outreach and technology by providing assistance in an effective
and timely manner. We envision an environment of exemplary services and advising that
offers all students the financial means and necessary skills to attain their personal and
The Office of Financial Aid, Scholarships, and Student Employment at Howard
University will provide our diverse student population with access to postsecondary
education by rewarding individual achievements and by reducing the financial barriers
that would otherwise prevent or inhibit qualified students from attending Howard
University. We will also:
set the pace for excellence in financial aid administration, service and practice
be the hallmark of support for the University vision of a diverse and successful
student population; and
actively promote financial aid awareness to student, parents, and the university
In the last few years, several top colleges and universities have renewed their
commitment to greater socioeconomic diversity. The presidents of Princeton, Harvard,
Yale, Smith and Amherst are calling attention to the glaring disparities between rich and
poor in the U.S. generally and on their campuses specifically. Along with these
prestigious academic institutions, Howard University must reassert our commitment to a
financial aid program that can keep pace with tendencies in American society, making
sure we are able to remain a school "open to all, regardless of means."
We must emphasize that the financial aid program is not only part of Howard
University‘s historical identity, but is crucial to the School's future as well. As educators,
we believe that socioeconomic diversity makes possible a kind of learning that would be
absent in a more homogenous environment. Our students come to this campus and live
with young people with entirely different experiences — they learn from each other and
teach each other more in their daily interactions than we could hope to teach them in the
most ideal classroom. Financial aid is the core component of Howard University's identity as a
different kind of private school.
To that end, we plan to:
Study the financial structure that makes our financial aid program possible as well as
create a model that will help us estimate future demand for financial aid at Howard
University. At current levels of financial aid, we know that it takes at least $25 million of
endowment each year to fund our financial aid program.
To go beyond funding for the program we now maintain, to create a truly need-based
financial aid package, we will need a model to create a goal to fully fund a needy student
at Howard University, through gifts to the endowment and planned giving.
We, therefore, recognize that student satisfaction and wellbeing is our greatest concern.
Goals, Critical Success Factors and Objectives (including Strategies and Assessments)
Goal 1: Technology: Leverage new technology to provide increasingly improved service to
students, and families.
Critical Success Factors
Reduce processing time from receipt of application to awarding of funds.
Increase accuracy of aid packages by reducing the number of times an application is
Automate and evaluate existing processes to facilitate the above goal
Automate summer awarding process.
Objective 1.1 Increase the number of online tools available to students, families and other
constituents to facilitate the financial aid process.
Creation of part time employment and federal work study online database.
Integration of a kiosk system to efficiently answer questions and route students to the
correct departments across campus.
Create a number of self help guides for general student use.
Measurable increase in the amount of jobs created and filled by the part time employment
and federal work study department.
Decrease in wait time to see a financial aid advisor and a decrease in the number of
people involved to correctly guide a student through the financial aid process.
Offers an additional option for students to seek out the answers they need pertaining to
their financial aid processing.
Goal 2: Customer Service: An ongoing goal is to improve service to students and other
constituents by continued improvements.
Critical Success Factors:
Increase customer satisfaction level to 95%.
Increase in the number of relevant services available via the Internet.
Decrease the amount of wait time associated with phone and in person student services.
Objective2.1: Decrease the average wait time for phone and in person assistance by 25%.
Increase number of staff available to take phone calls through effective scheduling.
Anticipate heavy traffic or peek times through monitoring phone system and historical
Monitor phone system for the following variables
Number of staff available
Average wait time
Individual employee call log
Goal 3: Publications: Review and improve all financial aid publications on an annual basis to
insure clear communication of financial aid information to students and parents both in print and
Critical Success Factors
Significant reduction in the number of duplicate communications the student receives.
Synchronization of the communications generated by the Office of Admissions and the
Office of Student Financial Aid, Scholarships and Student Employment.
Enhancing communication with students attending remote campuses, involved with the
study abroad program, and distance education students by consolidating, updating, and
targeting communications from the Financial Aid Office to the University student
Objective 3.1: Deliver Financial Aid information via publications, mail outs, emails and other
available resources to students, parents and staff.
Maintain a record/timeline of all communications from the Financial Aid office to parents
Examine yearly all publications for accuracy of information, necessity of said publication
and if it reaches the correct population.
Research, develop and utilize publications for each population that we want to reach.
Continue to work with Admissions to co-ordinate information going out to newly
admitted students including emails and written publications.
Communications from the Financial Aid Office will target all student groups.
HU‘s Financial Aid handbook has been created and is a useful aid to students and parents
as they go through the financial aid process (online).
Goal 4: Award Process: Improve the award process and delivery of funding to eligible students.
Critical Success Factors:
Significant reduction in the amount of time to process Special Circumstance and
Independent Status petitions for additional financial aid assistance.
Reduce number of errors or corrections required in administering Federal, State, and
other grant programs.
Objective 4.1: Decrease the amount of time needed to process documents necessary to apply
funds to student accounts by an increase in staff and leveraging training.
Hire and train new staff on the financial aid process.
Receive additional training through in house training, the National Association for
Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), and other organizations to remain informed on
new and current processes.
Reduce the time required to determine eligible recipients and award funding to students.
As of January 1, 2007, we have hired seven new employees in key areas, and began
Members of the staff have attended several conferences and Financial Aid sponsored
training programs over the past year.
Awards for 2005-2006 began two months earlier than in 2004-2005 with 76% of all
awards completed 90 days ahead of prior award year.
Goal 5: Scholarship: Provide more efficient scholarship administration through the use of online
Critical Success Factors
Make 100% of application process available through Bison web access.
Reduce manual tracking entries to zero.
Objective 5.1: Deliver access to the Employee/Dependent Scholarship Application via HU email.
Create 24x7 access to the scholarship application
Receive all applications via online submission
Eliminate questions regarding application submission, receipt dates, employee identity,
and correspondence hours participation
Electronically control application deadlines
Increase accuracy in application processing
Decrease processing time for the scholarship office
Allow for faster awarding to students
Review process after fall 07 award cycle
Customer review and feedback
I. Context for Planning
State and National Trends and Challenges:
Continued Student Growth- The U.S. Department of Education forecasts the number of
college students nationally to grow 9% nationally by 2013. A study from the Western
Interstate Commission for Higher Education finds that by 2008-09, the number of high
school graduates will grow to a record 3.2 million. Many of these new graduates will be
seeking postsecondary education and proportionally more will come from racial/ethnic
minority populations. Low income and minority students have traditionally been
underrepresented in higher education. Current trends suggest that even more of these
students may be unable to enroll. Will financial aid funds and services be prepared for the
challenge of supporting the new ―emerging majority‖ of Latino, African-American,
Native American and Asian students with both merit and need-based aid?
Diversity: a Challenge- The competition among colleges to enroll the proportionally
smaller group of students with the top grades and credentials is keen. Many affluent
students who might have assumed they would head for the top private schools are finding
the competition tough and are enrolling instead at public 4-year universities. This pushes
lower-income students, who tend to be less prepared academically and are more
financially needy, into community colleges. This increases our challenge to attain and
retain a diverse student body. The University‘s retention rate is 76%.
Rising Tuition - Tuition has been climbing at two to three times the inflation rate for
three decades. However, in 2005 tuition and fees at four-year public institutions increased
7.1% on average compared with 10.5% last year. State budgets for higher education are
being trimmed at an alarming rate, which in turn continues the spiral of tuition increases.
When tuition goes up, the demand for financial aid increases. Our office experiences a
17% increase in applications every year. By July 2006 (7 months into the filing cycle),
we had received 83% of the total applications for all of 2006-07 cycle of 18 months. By
February 2006, we had exceeded by 3% our prior year total application volume. In
2006/07 full-time students at Howard University received an average of $13,275 in
financial aid. In FY 2006, we awarded a total of 190 million in financial aid.
Need vs. Academic Merit Aid- Financial aid once went to the poorest students and
families. Now, grants for special talent and the arts and merit grants and scholarships are
growing faster than grants and other aid based on need.
Affluent students (and their parents) expect to be rewarded with academic merit aid. Our
scholarship award process permits the University to remain competitive in that
expectation. The automatic allocation of a scholarship at the time the student is admitted
has proven effective in shaping the entering class while at the same time supports more
students with a scholarship. As Freshmen enrollment has continues to increase, so does
the academic quality of the students. In order to remain competitive in our scholarship
program, the University should consider increasing its financial support with need-based
financial aid by 50%. This increases the total of University need-based grant funds and
merit-based funds. For the 06/07 academic school year, the Financial Aid Office awarded
$1,205,218 in University Grant funds, and over $15 million in merit funds. For the 07/08
academic school year, we have presently awarded 1,500,000, and a little over $16 million
in merit bases funds. The University realizes that the Freshman Scholarship is highly
attractive to students, but very expensive and necessary to preserve its availability and
position for the future of the institution.
Tighter federal budget- In the wake of Hurricanes from Katrina to Wilma, the cost of
the Iraq War, burgeoning health costs, and corresponding federal budget deficits,
Congress is executing sharp cuts in federal domestic programs. The Deficit Reduction
Act of 2005 makes significant changes to student loans that affect students, lenders, and
guarantors. An earlier proposal to increase the Pell Grant was shelved, leaving the
maximum grant at the current amount for 2006-07 at $4050. The President‘s 2007 Budget
likewise cuts domestic spending with deep cuts into student aid that could total $5 billion
Pending Higher Education Act Reauthorization- The Higher Education Act that
governs the federal student aid programs has a mandatory 5 year renewal or
reauthorization when the Congress reexamines the law and adopts changes. The HEA
reauthorization was due to occur in 2003, but has been extended through a series of
continuing resolutions while congressional committees work out the details affecting Pell
Grant, need analysis formulas, student eligibility, student loan program interest rates and
fees, loan limits, lender and guarantor reimbursements and many other contentious and
partisan issues. Some issues have been settled with the enactment of the Deficit
Reduction Act of 2005. Still other proposed changes may occur when and if the
Reauthorization is enacted later this year.
Where the Money Is- Alternate sources are becoming popular financing options with the
flattened levels of federal and state financial aid and rising costs. One such source is
private, educational loans which totaled more than $18 million. Private borrowing is
expected to continue increasing because of the gap between available aid and costs
outweigh each other. This has implications on loan default rates as students attempt to
manage the repayment of multiple loans from multiple lenders at multiple interest rates.
Federal Student Loans have totaled more than 108 million, and will continue to rise as
Five twenty-nine (529) college savings plans and pre-paid tuition for families who can
afford them are becoming more commonplace. Increasingly the financial aid
administrator is being asked for advice on more general financial planning for college not
just for information on federal student aid programs. This may be a trend that our aid
offices may need to consider subsidizing for staff who wants to become more expert as
In addition, students rely on credit cards to finance not just tuition but also living
expenses. Eighty-three (83%) of undergraduates have at least one credit card. By the time
students reach their senior year, 31% carry a balance of $3,400. This burden coupled with
student loan indebtedness is likely to contribute to defaults and bankruptcies, and perhaps
influence the career field that a student might choose. This trend bears watching and may
necessitate programs of financial literacy organized by the aid office with sponsorship
from student organizations
Alternative Delivery Scenarios- As the demographics of students change, ―brick and
mortar‖ buildings fill, and more working adults are seeking flexible class offerings,
colleges are creating new ways to deliver instruction through telecommunication and
web-based courses, correspondence, and independent learning to meet the competition
from for-profit, proprietary institutions. The University of Phoenix, as an example enrolls
228,000 students. Traditional public institutions now see this population as an ―untapped‖
revenue source. Likewise consortium agreements and memoranda of understanding
between colleges to eliminate duplication of coursework are an emerging trend. Such
arrangements are difficult for the financial aid office to manage in an automated
environment. Manual tracking is required, and therefore subject to error.
Compliance issues and audit findings may be the result. For-profits also seem to be
winning favor with the Congress, which is irked with public and private colleges over
rising tuition. The recently signed Deficit Reduction Act liberalizes the restriction on
distance education programs by eliminating how much of an institution‘s coursework can
be taught on-line, modifying the definition of an academic year, and reducing the length
of a certificate program. These will make more for-profits eligible to participate in the
federal student aid programs and further increase the competition for students.
Interdisciplinary studies programs that mix liberal arts with science and technology,
combined degrees in which the student earns an undergraduate and graduate degree
concurrently, and other ―niche‖ programs not hampered by departments‘ and colleges‘
―ownership are also emerging as colleges try and differentiate themselves in the
marketplace. Since financial aid programs are not set up in these ways, they are also a
source of challenge for an aid office to manage efficiently and accurately.
Key Performance Indicators:
Trends in FAFSA applications- totals and by student type-dependent vs. independent.
Total dollars and students assisted annually by program, program type, need and merit,
and by undergraduate and graduate students.
Number of students accessing the office web site, submitting interactive forms and using
Student satisfaction surveys and the results of other assessment tools.
Annual compliance audits of federal and state aid funds.
Assessment of the recently implemented Default Management program on our future
default rate on federal loans.
Trend in annual cohort default rates on Direct Loan programs.
Performance management reports that identify inefficiencies in processes and how those
were used to influence decisions to reduce or eliminate them.
Results of the Quality Assurance program- student errors, items of error, amount of funds
―saved‖, adjustments made to reduce the amount and items of error.
Assessing the intervention strategies employed by the enrollment management team to
affect freshmen enrollment goals.
Success of freshmen and sophomore scholarship students to retain their eligibility for the
first two years and whether they were successful in migrating into the colleges‘ award
Suggestions for New “Programs” or Services
Support the training of one or more advisor to become an expert on college financing
plans through a certified financial planner program. This would add depth to our service
to parents that extends beyond the federal student aid programs.
Consider reassigning the awarding process and notifications for entering student
scholarships to Admissions and Records. A coordinating staff person or team could be
assigned to oversee the processes between the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office and
Admissions and Records. This would better support the enrollment goals as a tandem
process to admission and direct families to one location for initial contact.
Create a small group of staff within the enrollment services division to collaborate one
and ensure a similar ―look and feel‖ for all publications whether web or print copy.
Formalize a team within the office staff whose assigned responsibility it is to design and
coordinate aid presentations, act as a resource to campus offices, and train other staff on
financial aid and scholarship basics, so they can deliver accurate information to audiences
of prospective students and general public.
Student Financial Services: Revenue Enhancement and
Improving Student Outstanding Receivables
The Office of Student Financial Services will address outstanding receivables during the
strategic planning and budgeting period. Most graduate students are subsidized by graduate
assistantships, tuition remission, fellowships, and loans. The aid received by these students
covers their educational costs. Undergraduates who live on campus will not fare as well as
graduates. The increase in financial aid will not keep up with the pace of costs. Consequently,
receivables from undergraduate students will continue to increase at approximately a 3% each
year. This translates to an increase of approximately $2.8 million and 933 delinquent accounts
The Office of Financial Student Services currently has five in-house collectors for campus based
loan programs and one collector that handles outstanding student account receivables. In order
to retrieve as much of these receivables as possible, the Office must aggressively collect monies
students owe the University. It will have to employ outside collection agencies in concert with
the efficient use of in-house staff. The following additional resources are required to put the
Office in a position where it can accomplish the projected increases in receivables:
four additional student account collectors (the Office currently has a four person
additional office space, equipment and supplies; and
an automated speed dialing system.
Access, Quality, and Diversity
An important strategic goal of the University is the development of the best ―mix‖ of students
according to level, gender, citizenship status, and academic background. This goal is part of the
University‘s unique mission and commitment to providing access to ‗promising‖ students of high
academic potential, who can be developed into ―distinguished and compassionate graduates.‖
(SFA-I). The University can achieve its goals of providing access, maintaining quality and
achieving diversity without sacrificing any of its goals.
An important consideration in the development of a student enrollment paradigm is the degree of
selectivity the University and its schools and colleges will use when admitting FTIC and transfer
students. The University is very selective in the students it admits and offers admission only to
student who have demonstrated strong personal motivation and consistent academic growth and
achievement. The University is also committed to providing access to students whose
performance on standardized tests may not indicate their academic potential and ability to benefit
from a Howard education. Often, these students are from socially and economically
disadvantaged backgrounds and of African descent.
Articulation and Transfer Programs
Effective management of student enrollment depends, in part, on sound articulation agreements
with universities and colleges, effective retention across all categories of students, and transfer
programs that draw qualified students to Howard University. To address issues related to
articulation, retention and transfer, in December 2002 the Provost created an Articulation,
Retention and Transfer Committee (ART). The Committee, composed of administrative staff and
faculty members, issued its final report in June of 2002.
During the five-year enrollment master plan period, ART Committee recommendations will be
considered by the Provost and implemented where appropriate. The Committee developed a
comprehensive program of action covering articulation, retention and transfer issues.
Student Retention and Graduation
Undergraduate Student Retention and Graduation
Although competition to attract the ―best and the brightest‖ African-American students at the
undergraduate level has increased dramatically during the past few years, Howard has been
successful in enrolling large incoming classes of students with high test scores and strong
academic records. It has also been successful in attracting significant numbers of transfer
Since the primary focus of recruitment has been FTIC students, many transfer students apply
without ever having been actively recruited by Howard. However, during the past two years, the
University has made a concerted effort to recruit students from community colleges and has
signed a number of articulation agreements that will ensure the enrollment of additional transfer
students. The most lucrative of these agreements is the National Articulation and Transfer
Network (NATN), which calls for Howard to accept students from a national network of
community colleges according to specific admission and transferable credit criteria. Currently
there is no one unit responsible for establishing standards for and evaluating transfer credits. As
transfer enrollment increases, so will the need for a more organized and well managed effort to
address their special needs—from orientation to awarding of advanced standing.
The University-wide Articulation, Retention and Transfer Committee recommended that the
University established an Office for Articulation to monitor all articulation agreements. Such an
office would coordinate agreements, standardize policies and procedures, establish guidelines,
and maintain continuous communication with participating institutions.
Graduate and Professional Student Retention and Graduation
At the graduate level, students who did not return may have been dropped for academic reasons
or may have ―dropped out‖ or ―stopped out‖ for non-academic reasons. Since the Graduate
School does not enforce a continuous enrollment policy, graduate students may elect not to
register for a particular semester but may return a semester or so later. In this instance, the
student has no intention of dropping out, but may not register for a particular semester because of
a lack of funds or other reasons. Graduate School policy does require that the student register in
the semester in which he or she expects to graduate; therefore, the student may ―stop out‖ and re-
register when graduation is expected.
By most estimates, approximately 50% of all students who begin doctoral studies do not finish
them. The percentages for students of color are reported to be higher. In view of the already
small pool of African Americans that acquire the Ph.D. annually (approximately 4.5% of the
total of about 42,000); the nation can ill afford to lose any African American student who begins
To this end, the Graduate School has established a new Office of Graduate Retention, Mentoring,
and Career and Professional Development and has appointed an Assistant Dean and senior staff
member to manage the programs to: (1) provide the structure for an organized, well-designed
program of mentoring and retention that will improve the quality of life for students in the
Graduate School at Howard University; (2) reduce attrition; (3) reduce time to degree; (4)
provide opportunities for fellowships and internships; and (5) enhance students‘ career and
Increasing retention will have a positive and direct impact on the University‘s ability to reach
and maintain its enrollment targets at both undergraduate and graduate levels.
Resource Support for Efficient Enrollment Management
An important part of effective enrollment management is ensuring that students, once recruited
and admitted, have access to adequate physical facilities (classroom space, residential areas,
research laboratories and athletic facilities). Implementation of the five-year enrollment
management plan will evolve in concert with a strategic deferred maintenance program and
renovation and new building construction. During the five-year period, twenty-one deferred
maintenance projects will have to be addressed. They involve maintenance needs in the
following areas: fire code compliance, life safety hazards, building integrity, elevator repair,
door replacement, seating replacements, upgrading building and electrical systems, repairing
interior finishes, roof repairs, and landscaping. In addition to deferred maintenance projects, the
University will have to renovate and construct new buildings to accommodate the five-year
School/College Strategic Enrollment Projections
At the base of the five-year enrollment management plan are the enrollment projections for our
schools and colleges. In developing the plan, the Graduate School and each school and college
were asked to submit five-year enrollment projections with appropriate programmatic, faculty,
facilities, and resource considerations. The projections had to be consistent with the Middle
States accreditation recommendation that graduate and professional school enrollment should
increase as a percentage of the University‘s total enrollment. Schools and Colleges were
informed that at the end of the five-year period, 60% of the University‘s enrollment is projected
to consist of undergraduate students and 40% of graduate and professional students. In addition,
they were informed that the University‘s total enrollment is projected to be 12,000 with a 1,400
first-time-in-college (FTIC) ceiling. The projected 12,000 total student population does not
include Continuing Education students and those projected to enroll in the Metropolitan College.
The University will manage its enrollment objective through the implementation of an aggressive
student retention program, and the strategic FTIC admission decisions and use of financial aid.
Admission and Recruitment
Early identification (sophomore and junior year of high school) of prospective students;
In-depth use of predictive modeling;
More strategic use of standardized tests as predictors of student academic potential;
Development and implementation of an academic potential program; and
Use of external vendors to manage the admission inquiry process.
Create an Articulation/Transfer Center to centralize all transfer evaluation processing;
The Center‘s mission will focus on improving efficiency and enhancing the quality of
Implement the Banner Articulation module utilizing technology to evaluate and process
Increase student access to transfer information through the development of web based
Develop university-wide general education requirements for undergraduate students
Secure additional gift-aid funding resources (institutional and other) to award to
undergraduate, graduate and professional students;
Reallocate available institutional resources to develop more competitive/attractive
financial aid packages;
Employ financial aid leveraging principles to support recruitment and retention goals.
Create financial aid packages for freshman and sophomore level students that do not
include student loans;
Collaborate with University Advancement in development and distribution of
grant/scholarship funds generated from donors and sponsors; and
Reassign the management and coordination of the Howard University Scholarship
Program and Trustee Scholarship Program from Enrollment Management to the Office of
Student Affairs and Enrollment Management
Additional family housing for students (perhaps in existing buildings) with appropriate
programming for spouses and children;
Specialized career services in close collaboration with schools and colleges;
More advanced leadership training and opportunities;
Effective and appropriate orientation processes;
Enhanced support services for graduate and professional student organizations;
Enhanced support services for international graduate and professional students; and
Provision of counseling services and support groups addressing needs of graduate and
Action Plan: Implementing the Enrollment Management
Strategic Planning and Budgeting Plan
By creating the Office of Enrollment Management approximately, the University took a giant
first step in looking at management of enrollment strategically. The new model organized some
of the most critical components of enrollment management—recruitment, admission, records,
articulation, and financial aid—under one umbrella, managed by an Associate Vice President
who reported to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Enrollment management, once defined
simply as recruiting and admitting students and providing tutoring services, has evolved into a
comprehensive approach that involves using information to identify the best ways to attract and
keep learners; making strategic decisions based on data; and evaluating the impact of the
decisions—in other words, assessing, holistically, what we do and how what we do relates to our
Fortunately, Howard University has strengths that have enabled it to maintain satisfactory
enrollment levels without the benefit of having a strategic plan for enrollment management. It
has a strategic framework for action, excellent name recognition, a large alumni base, relatively
low tuition costs, and many dedicated faculty and staff who are committed to serving students.
However, as competing for high-achieving African American students, responding to student
needs, keeping up with technology, and meeting operational expenses continue to become more
challenging, it is critical for the University to determine how it can meet these challenges most
The next step in implementing a strategic plan for enrollment management will be to develop an
organizational model and assign responsibility for specific components. This should be followed
the collection and analyses of data and a review of how it relates to the University‘s desired
outcomes. Once those steps are completed, the University will be ready to implement a plan that
includes programs that have shown the most promise for supporting the University‘s enrollment
goals. During the next five years, it is recommended that the University do the following:
Begin identifying benchmarks and collecting and assessing data.
Develop a dedicated enrollment management team composed of key players to refine the
SEM plan based on clear guidelines.
Propose SEM organizational structure.
Prioritize initiatives and persons responsible for them.
Seek grant revenue to support enrollment management initiatives.
Pilot promising initiatives.
Continue collecting and analyzing data.
Complete midpoint assessment.
Begin implementation of new SEM organizational structure.
Appoint key managers and contact persons.
Begin institutionalizing most promising initiatives.
Complete implementation of new organizational structure.
Continue institutionalizing initiatives.
This plan can serve as a basis for discussion about where the University wants to be five years
from now with regard to management of its enrollment. The model that is ultimately chosen for
implementation will depend on how the University will be organized in the future and where
enrollment management is on the University‘s priority list. It will require an in-depth analysis of
the University‘s current enrollment situation, is projected student enrollments and as well as
institutional and individual change.
Assessment and Evaluation
The final revised Enrollment Management strategic plan will include as assessment and
evaluation component, which will address performance criteria, measuring instruments, feedback
mechanisms, and procedures by which the plan will be modified. The Enrollment Management
Task Force should be reconstituted and charged with updating and revising the plan. The general
performance criteria are reflected in the twenty-two assumptions and are centered on core
assumptions related to: (1) undergraduate, graduate and professional student enrollment; (2)
student retention and graduation; (3) effective student and client service; (4) efficient allocation
and processing of institutional, federal, state and private financial aid and resources; and (5) staff
development and accountability. The plan will include measurable indicators in each of these
areas. Student and client surveys, regular reports to schools and colleges, and the Provost,
President and Board of Trustees reports will be used as part of the feedback mechanism to
determine whether the plan is working as intended. The Enrollment Management Task Force will
convene at a minimum semi-annually to assess the implementation of the strategic plan.