Enrollment management is one of the most important functions for the programs and colleges. We have a year-long process by which graduate enrollment is managed. First in fall semester, you will be asked to complete the Graduate Enrollment Management (GEM) worksheets. These worksheets ask for information about the following aspects of your program:
- Number of new students you will have the upcoming year
- Number of total students you will have enrolled in your program the upcoming year
- Number of total graduate assistantships that your program will provide the upcoming year
- Number of graduate teaching assistants that your program will provide the upcoming year
- Average annual graduate assistantship level
- Formal program requirements in excess of the standard full-time SCH requirements
The fields that you complete and the overall GEM worksheet become your enrollment plan for the upcoming year. Since it involves resources, your academic college must participate in the approval of this plan. These numbers will determine how many students you will admit the next Spring for the upcoming Fall and how many assistantship and tuition waiver offers will be used for your program. The GEM worksheet needs to have the most realistic information possible on enrollment plans for the upcoming year. This is your opportunity to have a frank conversation with your college about its level of commitment to your program, resources that will be available to support students, expectations for the program and the program’s role in achieving university excellence.
Once the academic college signs off on these plans, which are due in November of each year, you must recruit to ensure that you will have enough applicants to reach your enrollment target for your program. The weekly reports sent to you from the College of Graduate Studies can help you determine the number of applicants and admission offers that you need in order to reach your enrollment target. It is important that you track your enrollment target as well as your applicant pool to see if you need to do more active recruiting. To compete for top students, admissions and assistantship offers should go out as early as possible to prospective students.
The Graduate Financials System in the GradInfo portal (www.gradinfo.ucf.edu > Financials menu) is a useful tool to keep track of your commitments to continuing students and the resources that you will have available to offer to newly admitted students.
After you have made recommendations on admissions and offers have been made by the Graduate College you should track the acceptance of each applicant to determine if you need to make more offers, should a student decline admission. After you have entered assistantship offers into the Graduate Financials System and have determined how many of your students may be continued on fellowships the next year, you should review your resources and see if you need to make more offers to achieve your enrollment targets. This should be the most important activity that occurs between March and May of each year.
Students have until April 15 of each year to accept your offer of financial support. You are engaged in a national competition for the best and brightest students, but you must not pressure students to commit to you before then. After April 15, you should solicit responses from students that you have not heard from, and make offers to students on your wait list to achieve your enrollment targets.
Once your class is finalized in mid-May, make sure to update the entry of all funded students in the Graduate Financials System. You can use this list to complete the assistantship agreement and e-PAF for each graduate assistant. Because of all of the information needed for hiring, this is time-consuming and allowance needs to be made for the time that these processes will take.
Students should be registered for classes as early as possible for Fall so that classes are not cancelled before they can register. Once you know your yield for this year, this is important information in predicting your new enrollment target for the next year. The process begins again with the request to complete the GEM worksheets, starting in October of the new academic year.