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April 11, 2024

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Spring Housing Guide

Scholarship budget cut may cause fall in freshmen

Due to a financial crisis the freshmen scholarship budget cut will amount to $1,800,000 which could cause a decline in the freshmen class size for next fall.

As of Dec. 1 there have been only 6,174 freshmen applications submitted for next fall, compared to the year of 2005 when 6,337 applications were submitted.

“One of our biggest challenges that we will face for the upcoming years is maintaining the freshmen class size while cutting freshmen scholarships due to financial situations,” said Gary Swegan, director of undergraduate admissions.

Some students agree that freshmen scholarships being cut will affect potential graduating students from attending the University.

“One of the reasons why I chose BGSU is because of the amounts of scholarships I received for my academic success in high school,” said Desiree Allen, junior. “But if the school is cutting back on scholarships for the upcoming freshmen class some will not come because of the issue of affordability.”

Allen said if the freshmen scholarships will be cut heavily for next year then her sister will not be filling out an application to attend the University next year.

Another challenge is the declining of freshmen not accepting their acceptance to the University and choosing to go elsewhere, Swegan said.

“There has been a four percent decline in yield of students declining their acceptance,” he said. “But it’s no surprise because when the face of campus changes there is a decrease in size of each class.”

Swegan said due to the change on campus the University will go through from 2009 to 2012, there will be an expected decrease in class size until 2015.

To deal with these challenges the University will come across it is up to the faculty to come and help for the recruitment of students for next fall, according to Swegan.

“On President’s Day, Feb. 19, it will be an open house in which we will bring 1,500 high school seniors to the campus,” Swegan said.

Swegan asked during President’s Day for every department to give an open house to lure students in to the University.

“I know staffing is an issue, but each department could have open classes all day, which would allow students to sit in classes that they may take,” Swegan said.

Another option for faculty is getting in contact with potential students that want to enter their department.

“What we are doing is having students fill out a card providing their name, GPA, ACT score, and interest of major,” Swegan said.

By potential students filling out this card, the department of admissions will give the card to a department that each student is interested in.

“You know what kind of student you want,” Swegan said. “All we are doing is trying to connect with the students that you look for in your classrooms.”

Swegan said faculty can call the students or at least be aware when they arrive on campus visits to meet with them and talk about what their department offers.

By taking these actions will give potential students the opportunity to learn more about the campus and will result to a huge impact on deciding which University they will attend, according to Swegan.

There are many issues concerning recruitment, but there are also issues concerning the success of current freshmen classes in the last year.

“In the year 2001 our retention rate was 80 percent compared to a downfall for the 2005-2006 year rate at 76.1 percent,” said Alberto Gonzalez, provost of the division of academic affairs.

Incoming students aren’t prepared, don’t have coping skills and lack motivation, he said.

Instead of the numbers moving up, they are falling for the freshmen class in the areas of grade point averages and academic preparedness.

“In the spring of 2002 the freshmen GPA was overall a 2.12,” Gonzalez said. “But in the spring of 2006, the GPA overall dropped to 2.02.”

Gonzalez urges faculty to reinforce BGSU as a total learning environment.

“Faculty needs to continue to have high expectation and provide assistance to help students achieve these academic goals,” Gonzalez said.

But even though retention rates and grade point averages are down for the freshmen class.,there is 38.4 percent graduation rate for students to get a degree in four years, which is 12 percent above what academic affairs predicted.

“Our numbers are more than good in the area of freshmen graduating,” Gonzalez said.

There has been 4,325 degrees conferred in 05-06, which is the highest amount of received degrees in the last five years, Gonzalez said.

Agreeing with Gonzalez, John Folkins, vice provost in the division of academic affairs, said the University’s numbers are great compared to other institutions.

“Our numbers are outstanding compared to institutions like Kent State and University of Toledo,” Folkins said. “We just have to make sure we teach students to become mature learners and do a better job.”

But some faculty didn’t share the same opinion for the University’s numbers being great.

“I can’t be personally satisfied with those numbers,” said Arthur Samel, associate professor for geography. “I think it is horrible that only 34 percent of our freshmen actually graduate in four years.”

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