Roosevelt University Wabash Building was built in 2012 and added more housing for Roosevelt.
With a student body composed of 4,329 students as of Fall 2018, maintaining a stable enrollment at Roosevelt University has historically been a challenge for the institution.
Roosevelt University President Ali Malekzadeh stressed the significance of raising enrollment numbers in last year’s State of the University address, as the school receives the majority of its funding from student tuition. In his speech, Malekzadeh said that 98 percent of the university’s enrollment goals were met in the 2017-2018 academic year. One year after this address, the 2018-2019 academic school year enrollment numbers are looking equally as promising.
As stated by Roosevelt University Provost Lois Becker, “The University exceeded its Fall 2018 headcount and credit hour enrollment goals, and is currently ahead of both head and credit hour goals for Spring 2019.”
Becker credited the success of Roosevelt achieving its enrollment goals to multiple factors, including the development of new degree programs, the creation of the Wabash Building and the adoption of the “Navigate” software. The integration of these new technologies and degree programs is proving to be a massive success to undergraduate enrollment.
Although general student enrollment has increased in the 2018-2019 academic school year, Roosevelt has experienced less success in attracting new transfer students. “We have experienced a slight decrease in new transfer student enrollment in the last two terms, but have implemented several new strategies over the last 12 months to help us realize growth in this population moving forward,” Becker said.
In order to tackle the issue of decreasing transfer student enrollment, Becker claimed that Roosevelt updated its transfer credit policy in order to, “make clear that a student who has completed the general education program for an AA or AS degree is done with Roosevelt’s lower division general education requirements,” Becker said.
As stated by Becker and Ross, Roosevelt University’s generous transfer credit program presents evident success for attracting potential students. The university allows prospective students to “transfer in up to 90 credit hours from accredited four-year institutions and up to 70 credit hours from accredited two-year institutions.”
Accepting transfer and early college credits is crucial to both the prospective student and office of enrollment, as nearly every Roosevelt student brings in transfer credits from high school or a previously attended institution. In addition to Roosevelt’s updated transfer credit policy, the university has updated nearly 7,000 courses in the state’s automated course transfer software, Transferology, as well as established agreements with Chicago City Colleges in order to gain a larger transfer student population.
Roosevelt University freshman Anna Cosgrove is one of the few transfer students new to the university as of this semester. Cosgrove transferred to Roosevelt in spring 2019 from Joliet Junior College, and claimed that her decision to transfer to Roosevelt was influenced by the school’s size, degree programs and location.
“It’s always been my dream school,” said Cosgrove about Roosevelt University, “I’ve always known that the university has a good psychology program.”
When asked about how Roosevelt was advertised to her as a potential transfer student, Cosgrove said that she, “wishes the university was advertised more…” Cosgrove said small schools such as Roosevelt often get overshadowed by some of the larger schools in the Chicago area. Cosgrove discovered Roosevelt through a childhood friend, who recently graduated from Roosevelt in 2016.
Cosgrove is one positive step towards of increasing transfer enrollment, a sign that Roosevelt University’s transfer outreach is expanding to more potential students in community colleges across the chicagoland area. Although she is only halfway through her first semester, Cosgrove claimed that she is more than satisfied with her decision to transfer to Roosevelt.
According to Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions Jazmine Ross, Roosevelt’s office of enrollment has, “worked hard to increase the first-year student fall-to-fall retention rate by 17 percent to 74 percent over the course of the past two years.”
As of 2019, enrollment at Roosevelt University is soaring in a positive direction. Retention rate is steadily increasing, and the office of enrollment is launching several initiatives in order to increase the number of transfer students. Although these trends are a massive achievement for the university, only time will tell if these trends are sustainable.