USM Fall Enrollment Update: Freshman Enrollment Levels Reach All-Time High, Strong Trend of Transfer Students Continues
Md. (Dec. 1, 2016) -- The number of first-time, full-time freshman students
in the University System of Maryland (USM) increased to the highest
levels in fall 2016, according to a report delivered recently to the USM Board
of Regents Committee on Education Policy and Student Life.
The total of 13,398 first-time, full-time freshmen a
standard measure for the "traditional" college student who attends college
full-time immediately after high school represents a one-year increase of
nearly 1,000 students.
It is anticipated that a substantial majority of these
students will earn degrees.
"As a group, two-thirds of these students will complete
their degree, in an average of 4-1/2 years," Chad Muntz, USM director of
institutional research, told members of the Board of Regents Committee on
Finance. "From a financial perspective, they'll spend 4-1/2 years paying
USM institutions and university campuses throughout the
nation study enrollment data carefully. They are an important measure of
whether a college or university is likely to achieve the mission of graduating
Growth in enrollment is an important component in USM's 2020
strategic plan to help the state of Maryland achieve its goal of 55-percent
degree completion (associate's and bachelor's degrees) by 2020, in part by
increasing the number of additional students by an additional 45,000 over 2009
Preliminary fall 2016 headcount enrollment at USM campuses
overall was 171,143, an increase of 6,644 over fall 2015.
Enrollment measures also are important to the USM because
they help the system manage its budget expectations more effectively. Reducing
the time-to-degree for USM students has been an important goal since the system
initiated its original Effectiveness & Efficiency (E&E) program in
"That time-to-degree measure has diminished tremendously
since the start of E&E, when that statistic was over five years," said Joe
Vivona, USM Chief Operating Officer and Vice Chancellor for Administration
The USM approach to managing enrollment does not focus
singly on increasing the number of incoming freshmen. Rather, this traditional
source of new students represents a part of the system's enrollment strategy.
Today, nearly two-thirds of students in the USM have arrived
as transfer students, largely from community colleges in Maryland. This trend
is promising, because transfer students at such USM schools as Bowie State
University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, University of Baltimore and
Coppin State-and have demonstrated better academic performance and higher
degree completion rates.
Contact: Mike Lurie