Action Plan for the University Strategic Plan



2004 Action Plan Progress Report - Recruitment & Retention of Students

Recruitment & Retention of Students | Undergraduate Experience | Graduate Experience & Research | Academic Programs & Faculty | Connection to the Greater Community | Infrastructure/Support Improvements

Our overall enrollment target for fall 2004 new undergraduate students was met, with freshman by admission-standing category exceeding the target of 2,200 and transfer students undershooting the target of 1,600. There was a decrease of 160 in new graduate students. Overall, student headcount was 27,267, 800 students fewer than fall 2003. The decrease was primarily in business graduate students and in international students. Table 1 provides enrollment trends.

Diversity of the new students continues to be a distinctive feature of the university. Not only do we continue to recruit a highly ethnically diverse student body while significantly increasing our admission requirements, we also are in the top ten universities nationally for numbers of black students who graduate with baccalaureate degrees [ Black Issues in Higher Education , June 2004, lists Georgia State as 7 th nationally and 1 st in non-HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges & Universities)]. In addition, we are in the top twenty universities nationally in graduating black students with master's and doctoral degrees. Table 2 provides data on student diversity.

Fall 2004 saw a continued increased quality of new freshmen. Quality of the new freshman class was our highest on record with an average SAT score of 1094, an increase of 20 points from last fall. More targeted use of presidential assistantships to students with a minimum FI of 2700 increased the number of students with high FI scores. For the first time, the average FI is over 2700 at 2734, an increase of 45 over last year. Similarly, the average GPA for transfer students was the highest on record with 3.06. Table 3 indicates increase in quality of admitted students.

Credit hour targets were not met. While summer enrollment increased slightly from the previous summer, the just over 304,000 credit hours generated in fall 2004 fell short of our previous highest total that occurred last year by 6,000. The average number of credit hours per student held steady at 11.1.

Undergraduate student retention rates were stable. The first-to-second year rate increased slightly to 83.2%. The second-to-third year rate declined from 70.1% to 65.5%. The third-to-fourth year rate rose from 57.9% to 63.4%. Table 4 shows increases in freshman to sophomore retention rates and targets for years through 2006. The six-year graduation rate for the 1998 cohort is 40.1%, a significant increase from 32% for the 1997 cohort. Continuing positive increases in intermediate year retention rates bodes well for future six-year graduation rates. One of the major reasons that Georgia State remains in Tier 4 of US News & World Report rankings is the gap between predicted and actual six-year graduation rates.

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