University of Delaware (UD)
Location: Newark, DE
Founded in 1743, the University of Delaware (UD) has evolved from a private academy to a research-intensive, technologically advanced university committed to making a positive global impact. In July of 2014, UD created a new position, Vice President of Enrollment, and embarked on the process of developing the university’s first Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) plan. Familiar with AACRAO Consulting’s extensive work with registrar’s offices, university leadership learned that the organization was also a leader in SEM. After reviewing several proposals, UD chose to partner with AACRAO Consulting to guide them through their SEM assessment and deliver an SEM plan.
As UD intensified its focus on improving enrollment, it became apparent that the university urgently needed a more strategic approach to recruiting students and increasing yield. Enrollment leadership knew that the university had the means and knowledge to create its own SEM plan, but also knew they could not wait several years for the plan to be developed internally. UD decided to bring in an outside expert to assess the university’s SEM readiness, and provide guidelines for creating and implementing a plan that would generate the desired outcomes.
AACRAO Consulting began their work with UD in February 2015. While conducting a series of on-site interviews with leaders and staff members from multiple departments, AACRAO Consultants also collected and assessed the university’s enrollment data. Within a few months of initiating the engagement, AACRAO Consulting had taken their findings and put together the recommendations.
Throughout the process of formulating their recommendations, AACRAO Consultants continually updated leadership on their findings and reaffirmed the relevance of their conclusions. By October, AACRAO Consulting presented a completed report, backed by hundreds of pages of data. They also gave a series of on-campus presentations to multiple departments to summarize the report’s findings as well as their top-line recommendations for identifying and reaching specific as well as strategic enrollment goals. These including reaching and attracting a more diverse range of students, including underrepresented, transfer and international applicants. By the end of the engagement, AACRAO Consulting had also put together a comprehensive SEM plan, ready for UD to implement.
Since receiving the final report and SEM plan, UD has implemented or is in the process of implementing every one of AACRAO Consultant’s recommendations. The university has also seen a significant improvement across enrollment targets. UD grew its enrollment of underrepresented minority students from 14.6% of the university’s total enrollment in 2015 to 15.4% of total enrollment in fall of 2018. Between the same years, the university increased enrollment of students of color residing in Delaware from 29.5% to 35.2%, and increased Delaware transfer student enrollments from 31% to 33.8%. In fall 2018, UD also welcomed 113 international students — up from just 42 international students in 2015. All in all, UD has experienced enrollment gains across all the student populations they were seeking to reach more effectively.