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Overenrolled Colleges

TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston Registered User Posts: 11,070 Senior Member
This has been a tough year for college adcoms. There was widespread publicity given to the belief that international students would avoid US universities due to the current administration. There were also predictions that American students would flock to Canadian universities. So estimating acceptance rates and yields was difficult.

From what I have heard here on CC and elsewhere it seems that many US and Canadian universities are overenrolled.
In addition to the debacle at UC Irvine, there are reports that Northeastern, Boston University and Boston College are significantly over enrolled. In Canada McGill and University of Toronto are overenrolled, at least for international students.

What other colleges have you heard being over enrolled? Are there other major colleges that are under enrolled? A sign of that would be a large number of acceptances from the waitlist.
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Replies to: Overenrolled Colleges

  • JustGraduateJustGraduate Registered User Posts: 672 Member
    Virginia Tech is overenrolled. Expected freshman class of 6400, 7104 actually enrolled. Think they're down to just under 7k now but beds and class space is continuing to be addressed by the University.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 62,031 Senior Member
  • kmrcollegekmrcollege Registered User Posts: 161 Junior Member
    I do not know if it is due to over-enrollment but my daughter tells me Rice is offering free room/board to students in doubles who agree to triple up.
  • melvin123melvin123 Registered User Posts: 431 Member
    Do any of you think that over-enrollment this year will result in reduced enrollment next year? For example, didn't U Chicago ask some students to take a gap year, so now some seats for the 2018/2019 class are already taken? Or do you think this will just roll over to the following year too?
  • droppeditdroppedit Registered User Posts: 670 Member
    Is this anything new? If it happens every year then it's no biggie.
  • 123Mom456123Mom456 Registered User Posts: 645 Member
    I think those schools that are over-enrolled this year will be more conservative next year. You will see more kids put on wait-lists.
  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston Registered User Posts: 11,070 Senior Member
    @droppedit But my point is that there were predictions of lower enrolment as I stated in my original post.
  • TTGTTG Registered User Posts: 572 Member
    Any source on Virginia Tech being overenrolled for the Class of 2021? Thanks.
  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 16,877 Senior Member
    Re #4 -- the University of Chicago has had a "Z-list" (like Harvard) for 4-5 years. It's not new this year. A few students are admitted off the waitlist to enter with the next year's class. There's no indication the program was any larger this year than in previous years, and it's never been large.

    But further to the main point of this thread, the University of Chicago is over-enrolled by about 200 students compared to the announced target. It has block-leased rooms in a luxury apartment building off campus and has been offering them to upperclassmen who had planned to live on campus this year. The magnitude of the error is impressive. Chicago admitted over 2/3 of its projected class ED, so it only had 400-500 slots to fill with people who probably had a choice to go elsewhere. Its eventual yield from regular admissions may have been 40-50% higher than projected.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 13,537 Senior Member
    A million moons ago (okay, about 30 years), I received a letter from my law school informing us they'd over accepted and thus over enrolled by about 100 students, or a little over a full section. They were informing us they would honor those acceptances but that it wouldn't happen again. In the future they'd send out acceptances, see how many accepted, and then send out another batch. For that year, they added a few to every section, added an extra section (about 85 students) but also offered for students to defer. Many schools do that now with waitlists, but it is not as common with big public universities to be over-enrolled by 500-1000 students.

    It wasn't just a matter of adding extra sections. The administration was overloaded, law review only had so many spots, there weren't enough lockers or bathrooms or space to study in the library. The school was overcrowded for 3 years. They couldn't just make the following year a smaller class because first years take different courses, and then in 3 years the graduating class would be too small so the school would be under enrolled (and not collecting enough in tuition to pay for the facilities, especially if they'd added more desks and lockers and administrators).

    Why do they think it happened? The cost of other schools. It was a time when private law school tuition was skyrocketing, and it was $2000 to go instate and $20k to go to one of the private schools. Suddenly, the public school was just fine. I think that is happening a lot now too. Student gets accepted at several schools but the public school is much cheaper, so the student picks VaTech or UCI over CMU or Stevens. Money.

    Taking fewer students in the next year doesn't really help because then there will be unfilled dorm rooms, and Psych 101 will be half full. At many schools only freshmen live in the dorms or take the lower level courses. It doesn't really work to have a big class, then a small one, then a regular one.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 62,031 Senior Member
    I mentioned this in the UCI overenrollment / rescission thread, but perhaps it can apply to other colleges.

    Many colleges attach conditions of admission that the admitted student submit a final high school transcript showing that the student completed the previously self-reported senior year courses with sufficiently high grades. Unlike many of the UCs which specify hard thresholds like 3.0 GPA with no D or F grades, many colleges vaguely tell admitted students that they must maintain their academic performance.

    That leaves open the possibility that, in an overenrollment situation, a college may be stricter about academic rescissions. For example, it may have previously held 3.8 GPA students to a 3.0 senior year GPA standard, but now holds 3.8 GPA students to a 3.5 senior year GPA standard.
  • Marcie123Marcie123 Registered User Posts: 140 Junior Member
    Scripps is overenrolled by 80 students. They've offered sophomores in doubles a monetary incentive to move to the Claremont graduate school housing location and will provide transportation back and forth.

    I've also heard Cal Poly SLO is overenrolled by 500 students and are putting some freshmen in apartments instead of dorms.

    Makes me nervous for my rising senior!
  • SC AnteaterSC Anteater Registered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
    Cal Poly SLO is overenrolled too.

    What I'd like to know is -- if all these school are overenrolled, which ones are underenrolled (besides Mizzou). Are there any schools in California that are underenrolled this year?
  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 16,877 Senior Member
    This happened in Ontario about 15 years ago. They abolished Grade 13 for students going to college, which meant that there was one year with double the number of students eligible to apply to college for the first time. After that, there was expected to be a slight increase in the number of students applying, for demographic factors and because the requirements were easier to meet, but there was never going to be another cohort anywhere near that size. Canada has many fewer higher education institutions per capita than the US, almost all of them are public, and for the top 10-20% of students, as a practical matter, you wouldn't need all your fingers to count the universities they expected to attend. Higher education is pretty heavily subsidized by federal and provincial governments, so the extra tuition dollars weren't really in and of themselves a windfall to the universities.

    On the whole, they handled it pretty well. At least it seemed that way. They had a few years' advance notice, and planned for it. They tried to spread the problem over a few years by encouraging gap years and time off from university. They hired a lot of decent quality temporary faculty on multi-year contracts, and delayed some retirements. They used private sector housing. The provincial government budgeted $2.5B to deal with the transition.The lump got through the system without breaking the system or the lump.
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