Marketing Intelligence Report

Report III  •   November 19, 2010

Notice of Correction to Marketing Intelligence Report #2, November 4, 2010: The “Parents Education” data inadvertently excluded "some graduate work and master’s degree or higher." The revised report is available at: http://www.uhv.edu/Marketing/Email/MarketingReport/MIreport20101103.html

UHV Marketing Survey:
Why accepted freshmen chose not to enroll at UHV

 
Three hundred forty-four freshmen accepted to UHV did not enroll in classes this fall. The pressing question is, “What were these students looking for that UHV didn’t offer?”

Marketing recently conducted a phone survey with the objective of shedding some light on this question. Of the 344 potential participants, Marketing surveyed nearly 50 percent, or 167 students. The results of this survey will also help identify the opportunities for improving the matriculation of accepted students.

Highlights include:

  • The institutions students chose instead of UHV.
  • Financial factors were the main reason students went elsewhere.
  • The degree programs sought that were unavailable.
  • The majority of survey participants cited factors for not attending UHV that were outside the university’s ability to influence the students.
  • Improved attention and communication with applicants will improve conversion rates.

 

The Majority of the Students are Currently Enrolled

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Ninety percent of survey participants currently are enrolled at another institution. Of the remaining 10 percent, 6 percent have plans to enroll within the next 12 months. The final 4 percent are undecided or do not plan to enroll in higher education. 

Most of the survey participants (excluding athletic recruits) chose to attend a university (56 percent) instead of a community college (44 percent).

Top five institutions that students are attending

#1 - Houston Community College (12% of the students)

#2 – University of Texas San Antonio (7% of the students)

#3 – Victoria College (6% of the students)

#4 – Lone Star Community College (5% of the students)

#5 – University of Houston Main Campus (5% of the students)

Freshman applicants who did not enroll at UHV chose to enroll in one of 48 “other” institutions.

 

Financial Factors Ranked Highest

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Twenty-eight percent of survey participants indicated various financial factors for why they selected another institution.

  • 9% - Availability of needs-based financial aid
  • 8% - Availability of merit-based financial aid
  • 6% - No rent or dorm fees by attending an institution close to home
  • 3% - Lower tuition
  • 2% - Lower living expenses

 

Degree Programs Sought that were Unavailable

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Seventeen percent of the survey participants (26) indicated that the No. 1 reason they chose another school was Major or program of study is not offered at UHV.

  • 42% of these students were interested in a nursing program
  • 12% of these students were interested in a mechanical engineering program
  • 8% of these students were interested in an architecture program
  • 8% of these students were interested in a chemistry program

Percentages for other program interest were too small to be considered significant.

 

No Influence on the Majority that Selected another Institution

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Eighty-seven percent of the survey participants sited a factor for not attending UHV that was outside the university’s ability to influence the student.  Note the following chart.*

The two single most influential factors that students sited are:

  • 19% - “Wanting to live near home” due to convenience (other than financial)
  • 17% - “Major or program of study is not offered at UHV”

Reasons
Total 87%

* Chart includes survey participant’s first most important reason for selecting another institution. Percentages are rounded.
*Other : To get basics there, then transfer to another school

Opportunity to Improve Enrollment

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Thirteen percent of the survey participants indicated factors for not attending UHV that are potentially within our scope to address. Included in the chart below is the 8 percent of survey participants who indicated Availability of needs-based financial aid as a factor for not attending UHV. What’s puzzling is that all incoming freshmen from outside the Victoria area were to receive 50 percent off their first year’s tuition. The responses indicate that the availability of financial aid was not clearly understood or communicated to these students.

The following quotes are from some of the students that chose Availability of needs-based financial aid as a reason for enrolling in another school:

  • “scholarship was given too late”
  • “got more aid at Texas Tech”
  • “San Marcos offered more money”
  • “not offered enough money”
  • “gave me more money at A&M”
  • “no financial aid offered” 

Reason not attending UHV

* Chart includes survey participant’s first most important reason for selecting another institution. Percentages are rounded.
**Communication Issue – Student indicated breakdown in communication or misunderstanding. Examples: “was told I was accepted, then told ‘no’ last minute,” “no scholarships given, only loans,” “didn’t get an award … or never checked,” “acceptance notification came late, already enrolled in other school.”