Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Rallo Cites Gift Aid as Recruitment Tool

Angelo State University President Joseph Rallo isn't letting $1 billion in state budget cuts for higher education cloud his vision.  Rallo cited a key recruitment tool in reaching 10,000 students, gift aid.  Money comes courtesy of the Robert G. Carr and Nona K. Carr Scholarship Foundation's corpus of $86 million.

Students will need all the help they can get, considering the Legislature plans to cut Texas scholarships by 30,000 students and ASU's "up to 9.9%" tuition and fee hike.  Fall '10 saw 86.1% of full time undergraduate students receiving any form of financial aid.  ASU's statistics show funding of $16.4 million in state scholarships/grants (includes Texas and all states).  Funding cuts and rising tuition could become a financial storm for some ASU students.

Despite headwinds, Rallo projects student enrollment to be 7,000 this fall, up from 6,155 in Fall 2010.  That's after letting go many professorial extenders, instructors and lecturers.  Fewer educators will teach more students, which translates to larger class sizes, in person and online. ASU's retention rate isn't stellar to begin with.  It's graduation rate is even worse.

A mass move to online teaching frequently brings problems with student engagement and retention. It will be a dicey fall for ASU.  The faculty to student ratio should soar from the advertised 20:1.  ASU may get more students, but how many will stay Rams?

Click on the image below to make it bigger:  The graph shows ASU's retention and graduation rates for the last five years.

Update 6-23-11: ASU's tuition hike came in at the maximum 9.9%

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