Fort Lewis College expects enrollment to be flat for 2019-20 – viewed as a win by school officials who have been battling declining enrollment since the Great Recession.
For budgeting purposes, the school is working on an estimate that total enrollment will be 3,347 for next school year, a 0.9 percent increase from this year.
Attention is being paid to recruitment, FLC President Tom Stritikus told the Board of Trustees’ Academic and Student Affairs Committee on Thursday.
“We are thinking about what do we need to do better from Pagosa Springs to Cortez. Do we need another recruiter to focus on Colorado Springs because that’s the fastest-growing area of the state?” Stritikus told trustees.
Director of Admissions Jess Savage presented application numbers so far for academic year 2019-20. Numbers as of March 25 indicate:
Confirmed first-year students for 2019-20 are at 337 compared with 328 last year, a 2.7 percent increase.Applications from first-year students are down from 5,141 last year to 4,400 this year, a 14.41 percent decrease.Admitted students are down from 3,457 students last year compared with 3,057 students this year.“I’m feeling like we’re having the right conversations with the right students,” Savage told trustees, noting that while applications are down from a year ago, the number of confirmed students is up slightly.
The school has also concentrated on attracting more transfer students, dedicating an admission counselor to work with transfers.
Savage said the move is paying off, with 53 transfer students confirmed for 2019-20 through March 25 compared with 39 students last year.
Trustees also discussed paying more attention to high school students enrolled in concurrent college classes at FLC as an avenue to boost enrollment numbers.
Trustee Dianne Van Voorhees suggested having successful alumni take a concurrent student out to lunch or holding special events, perhaps a summer barbecue for FLC’s concurrent students.
Stritikus agreed that paying special attention to high school students taking classes at FLC could help.
“We have an opportunity to make a more meaningful relationship,” he said.