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College recruiting gets trickier with graduation rates

By Paul Nelson | Posted - Mar 4th, 2014 @ 8:47am



SALT LAKE CITY — College recruiters in Utah will have to make some adjustments in how they recruit students. They say recent graduation rates could make their jobs trickier.

Over the past few years, admissions officers have noticed graduation rates in nearby states dropped before a slight uptick. Here in Utah, the dip was not as severe. But, things have changed recently.

“For awhile we were seeing an uptick in the number of students graduating from high school. We are starting to see a bit of that downturn happening now, and we’ll continue to see that for awhile,” said Mary Parker, associate vice president for enrollment management at the University of Utah.

She said they don’t expect to see another spike until 2021.

“We’ve been following this trend over the last several years and continue to monitor that so that we can build our strategies,” she said.

Luckily for Parker and people like her, there are highly specialized databases filled with student information that helps them profile the students they want to target.

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“Not everyone is the same, and you have to recruit them differently," she explained. "A student who is a very high-performing student, we may look at them differently to recruit them and talk about our honors college.”

Parker said recruiting is a highly specific and scientific process. Prospective engineering students need to be approached in a different way than students who’ve expressed interest in other fields of science, she said. But, she believes their databases allow them to do this.

“Our main goal in everything that we do is to go after the students who can be successful,” she said.

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