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UW-Superior enrollment strategy to target Twin Cities
UW-Superior is seeing a drop in their student enrollment, the lowest numbers in five years. But with a new marketing campaign they expect things to turn around. Brad Phenow reports.
UW-Superior had a head count of 2722 students last year and it dropped 42 students this year. Admissions Director Tonya Roth says the full time student number is down 1%. She says freshman class is the most effected.
“Our new freshman probably saw the biggest hit which wasn’t surprising based on our demographics change. We knew this would be the first year that the changing demographics in northern Wisconsin would really hit us hard.”
She says the decreasing number of high school students in northern Wisconsin has played a major role, and they won’t start to see increase of high school students until 2026.
“In the past we have always relied on our 100 mile service area to be our largest feeder of student and as those numbers go down, if that’s the only area we’re getting our largest percentage, our enrollment will continue to go down.”
She says they’re doing a new marketing campaign tagged “Unleash your Superior Side”.
“We have a big initiative right now to grow our student demographics from the Twin Cities area. Recognizing again the changing demographics we have to start reaching out to new populations of students and so the unleash campaign is really targeted to educate the students down in the Twin Cities are about the opportunities that exist here at UW-Superior”
Roth says affordability is a major factor in enrollment, and UW-Superior has the highest percentage of Pell grant students in the UW System. But recent changes to the Pell grant is stripping some students of that money.
“Students now are only eligible for up to six years. Especially our non-traditional students, who have been doing a part-time and have been coming back and forth, would have been eligible for a Pell grant but no longer are because it’s past that six year mark.”
She says that the economy is also playing a role in the enrollment numbers.
“We are finding more students right now, with the economy stabilizing, students are opting to stay at a job, or they’re not as concerned.”
She says with the new campaign they expect numbers to rise as early as next fall.
“We anticipate next year that our numbers from the Twin Cities area specifically will see a pretty significant increase”
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