July 10, 2018
GC Reports Dramatic Summer Enrollment Increase
Expanded course offerings, new marketing initiatives and changes to federal financial aid were all factors in Garrett College's dramatic increase in summer session enrollment, according to college officials.
GC's headcount enrollment for the eight-week summer session that started last month more than doubled in comparison to last year, rising from 51 to 113 students. That 122 percent increase in headcount was exceeded by a 146 percent increase in credit hours, which rose from 203 last summer to 499 this summer.
Most of GC's summer offerings are in core courses – freshman-level math, science, English, psychology and communications courses – but the college is also running more courses for specific audiences, such as Calculus III, Death and Bereavement and Child Psychology.
"While summer is one of our smallest semesters of the year, we're very pleased to see that increase," said Dr. Richard Midcap, Garrett College's president. "Our faculty, enrollment management, advising, registration, financial aid, and public relations offices all worked collaboratively to develop and promote a schedule we thought would be appealing to students."
"In general, summer enrollment is up due to more classes being offered that meet students' general education requirements," said Dr. Qing Yuan, the college's chief academic officer. "There is also a significant increase in the enrollment of the BIO 104 class due to the modified recommended sequence of the allied health program."
Enrollment also benefited from a change in federal financial aid regulations. In the past, students could only use Pell funding – which supports the college's most financially challenged students – during the summer if they had funds left over from the fall and spring semesters. This year, according to GC Financial Aid Director Cissy Vansickle, even students who had used all of their fall and spring aid could receive summer Pell aid if taking at least a half-time load (six credits or more).
"Most of our summer students are benefiting from this regulatory change," said Vansickle.
The college's expanded marketing initiatives centered around a "Why Choose Us?" campaign that included a direct-mail piece as well as online and print advertising. An enhanced social media campaign was also part of the summer marketing.
"We know Garrett College offers an excellent education and a great value," said Mike Tumbarello, the college's enrollment management director. "We are simply trying to use every avenue from traditional newspaper ads to social and online media to get that message out."
Advising and registration is currently underway for both new and returning students for the upcoming fall semester. For more information about opportunities at Garrett College, contact the office of Admissions at 301-387-3044 or visit www.garrettcollege.edu. Returning students are encouraged to contact the Advising and Academic Success Center at 301-387-3715.