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Student Retention

It's common to find students filing papers in campus offices, restocking library shelves, or checking IDs at the fitness center to make a buck. What's a little less common is students replacing sidewalks and entranceways to dorms, building fountains, and constructing additions.

Do you believe that some of the best and brightest of the next greatest generation of college students will begin their higher ed experiences at a community college? Well, we do. That is why we reallocated over $7 million of scholarship funds and operating support at Bucknell University (Pa.) for a period of six academic years to facilitate the Bucknell Community College Scholars Program.

As high school, college, and NBA basketball seasons power up, we hearken back to one of the best sports movie of all time: Hoosiers. In the film, the small-town Hickory High basketball team is about to do battle with the behemoth South Bend squad for the 1952 Indiana High School State Title. Hickory player Merle Webb famously declares, "Let's win this one for all the small schools that never had a chance to get here."

Enrollment officials are looking at what their institutions offer students overall. For example, Lake Forest College (Ill.) has placed an emphasis on increasing partnerships across the institution and "adding value to the student experience through collaborative academic programs," says admissions vice president Bill Motzer. Accelerated offerings include a 3+3 BA/JD program that allows students to complete a bachelor's degree and a Loyola University Chicago law degree in a total of six, rather than seven, years.

College recruitment is getting ever more competitive, so making sure students stay in school once they're enrolled is a smart move for any university.


In today's difficult economy, colleges and universities are suffering like they never have before. Fundraising levels have dropped dramatically, and the amount donated annually by supporters is roughly half of what it was a few years ago. Endowments are suffering, which impacts schools' ability to support students and programs. In addition, with federal and state budget cuts also running rampant, faculty and staff are being laid off, regardless of their credentials and ability.

Just for a day I became a student again, and the opportunity to learn from that perspective about the University of Idaho was priceless.

Student leaders extended an invitation for me to spend the evening and night in our residence halls, and that invitation was accepted because I thought it would be a unique experience. More importantly, I want to be grounded - aware of student wants and concerns - and represent them in a positive way as I move forward with university business.

The recently concluded holiday break wasn't much fun for those very bright but struggling freshmen students who got their first taste ever of academic failure.

Carroll University, Wisconsin's oldest four-year institution of higher education, aims to provide students with "a vibrant academic experience," says President Douglas N. Hastad. "Our goal is to help students succeed by supporting them as they pursue their degrees." The University recognizes that retaining students is just as important as enrolling new students, and more cost-effective than recruitment. The university is committed to helping students graduate, and to maintaining enrollments that will sustain the institution during challenging economic times like these.