University of Alabama
The University of Alabama (UA) is a prominent institution of higher education that was established in 1820. It is one of the earliest universities founded in Alabama in the United States and is annually acknowledged as one of the top 500 universities in the world (“University of Alabama: Rankings”, 2021). The institution comprises thirteen divisions that offer different types of programs (“Academics”, 2021). Suffice to note, UA is the only publicly supported university having an established school of law in Alabama. The current paper conducts a thorough analysis of the University of Alabama, including their undergraduate admissions, application numbers, and the graduation rate of the university. It also emphasizes the efforts of offices that increase the completion rate and provides a comparison summary between public and private institutions on how they present their enrollment management strategies.
Enrollment, Admit, and Graduation Rates of Alabama University
The total enrollment of the institution is currently at 38,320 students. It set a record in its history by enrolling the highest number of freshmen in 2021, while the total quantity admitted nearly reached 32,000 applicants, indicating the admissions rate of approximately 80% (“Common data set”, 2021). The institution had the highest enrollment in the recent four years of admission. Compared with the previous academic year, the admission rate increased by 11% of the total number of new students. The overall quantity of National Merit Scholars has also increased from 281 to 940 (“Common data set”, 2021). Consequently, the graduate school achieved a remarkable increase in the number of candidates for the year 2021. Compared to the previous year, the graduate enrollment saw a 7% increase, achieving a total amount of 6,170 students (“Common data set”, 2021). Ultimately, compared with recent years, the academic year 2021 was relatively successful in terms of enrollment and admission rates.
Concerning the achievements and awards, UA continually demonstrates positive results. Thirty-six faculties of the university have received National Science Foundation (NSF) career awards, indicating some of the most productive programs ranging from engineering, nanoscience, and the biological sciences (“University of Alabama”, 2020). Seven Professors received the NSF award setting the highest record in a single year in the history of the UA (“Common data set”, 2021). Furthermore, the institution executes a comprehensive award system, providing grants, scholarships, and financial aid to the students (“Common data set”, 2021). Ultimately, UA efficiently supports both students and professors, resulting in academic achievements and awards.
Two Offices Responsible for Increasing Graduation Rate in UA
One of the offices within the enrollment management division is the Capstone Center for Student Success. While the primary purpose of the office is counseling for students, it plays an essential part in improving the graduation and admission rates (“Capstone Center for Student Success”, 2021). Concerning the former, the Capstone Center offers additional tutoring, support programs, learning resources, and overall counseling concerning both academic and personal matters (“Capstone Center for Student Success”, 2021). In turn, it indirectly affects the admission rate as well due to the comprehensive approach to improving the social experiences of students; therefore, increasing the motivation of candidates to enroll at the university. The management of the Capstone Center consists of 5 separate departments, namely, administration, academic support, advising, first-year experience, and support programs (“Capstone Center for Student Success”, 2021). Ultimately, the Capstone Center for Student Success is an effective department of improving the overall graduation rate.
Nevertheless, certain adjustments could be made to enhance the process. For instance, on average, approximately 5 to 7 people are accountable for the corresponding services of the Capstone Center, which might not be a sufficient number for the institution of such a large scale (“Capstone Center for Student Success”, 2021). Therefore, increasing the number of responsible personnel might be a beneficial investment in the long term. Consequently, while the Capstone Center provides a large variety of financial support programs, coaching, tutoring, and academic guidance, relatively little attention is reserved for the mental health of the students. Higher education is a generally stressful environment, and students frequently experience the pressure to maintain academic progress. Therefore, while the Capstone Center services provide effective academic guidance, it does not protect the students from the possibility of burning out and dropping out from the university. As a result, the implementation of a department responsible for the mental health of the students within the Capstone Center might significantly improve the overall graduation rate and increase the motivation of the students to continue their studies.
Consequently, the second office responsible for the formal part of graduation is the Office of the University Registrar. This department is accountable for the academic calendar, curriculum listing, transferring, and, specifically, graduation (“Office of the University Registrar”, 2021). Unlike the Capstone Center, which is established to improve the academic and social experience of the students, the Office of the University Registrar primarily concerns official matters and scheduling. Nevertheless, certain adjustments within the department might improve the overall graduation rates as well.
For instance, the graduation process, which consists of application, degree verification, awarding, ceremony, and potential replacement, can be significantly improved. At present, a large number of said operations undergo within the myBama framework, which is the core software of the website. Consequently, errors frequently occur within myBama, which complicate the application process and might obstruct the students’ experience. From these considerations, it might be beneficial for the overall graduation process to prolong the application period and create opportunities for students to reapply for graduation. The additional non-refundable late fee assessed on the student should also be withdrawn.
Comparison Between Public and Private Institution Enrollment Management
Florida Memorial University (FMU) is a private institution of higher education that was founded in 1879 in Miami, Florida. The university accommodates approximately 1,700 undergraduate students and 500 post-graduate students (“Florida Memorial University”, 2020). The enrollment management of the institution is relatively underperforming. In 2021, the institution ranked #8 011 in the world and #1 801 in the United States (“Florida Memorial University Rankings”, 2021). Consequently, the difference in enrollment practices between the two universities is transparently reflected in their structure. Upon reviewing the web pages of the two institutions, it is evident that Florida Memorial University does not provide sufficient academic and social support to the students. There are no similar analogs to the Capstone Center for Student Success implemented in the UA, which significantly improve the experience of the students and graduation rates. In turn, the office of enrollment management services in the FMU consists only of the registrar’s office, and admissions and financial aid departments (“Office of Enrollment Management Services”, 2021). Ultimately, the lack of a comprehensive institution responsible for academic progress and counseling services is the primary difference between the two universities.
Academics. (2021). The University of Alabama.
Capstone Center for Student Success. (2021). The University of Alabama.
Common data set 2020-2021. (2021). Office of Institutional Research and Assessment.
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Florida Memorial University. (2020). National Center for Education Statistics: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.
Office of Enrollment Management Services. (2021). Florida Memorial University. Web.
Office of the University Registrar. (2021). The University of Alabama.
University of Alabama. (2020). National Center for Education Statistics: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.
University of Alabama: Rankings. (2021). EduRank.