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   from the issue of September 23, 2004

We all can help with recruitment

This is a portion of an e-mail sent Sept. 15 by Alan Cerveny, dean of admissions, to all UNL faculty and staff.

Dear Colleagues:

In today's competitive college student recruiting market, success depends upon the active involvement and support of the entire campus community. I would like to thank our faculty and staff on both campuses and in Cooperative Extension for joining us in this critical effort this past year.

The good news is that we are attracting the very best students from Nebraska and across the nation. For the third straight year, UNL has enrolled its most talented freshman class in our school's history based on test scores and class rank. The average ACT score jumped this year from 24.4 to 24.8. This year's class is also our most diverse ever as a result of another increase in our students of color numbers. We also enrolled 65 new National Merit Scholars this semester, up from 51 in 2003.

While we are pleased with the academic quality and diversity of our new student class, our new student enrollment is down 6 percent and overall enrollment is down 4 percent from a year ago based on final numbers released from Central Administration. The new student enrollment drop this year was most noticeable in two target populations. One of our decreases was in the number of new international students. Increased security due to the Patriot Act resulted in new student visa restrictions that directly impacted our fall numbers. The second drop was in the number of in-state students with ACT scores ranging from 20 to 24. The evidence indicates that more Nebraskans are enrolling at community colleges after high school in an effort to save money. With a shrinking pool of Nebraska high school graduates projected over the next decade, we cannot afford to allow public misperceptions to go unchallenged about our cost of education or the value of a four-year residential learning experience. We will continue to spread the word that UNL is affordable. A new brochure is being prepared to directly address questions and concerns about our cost of education with prospective students and their families. Every faculty and staff member will receive a copy of this brochure when it becomes available early next month. We are expanding our recruitment activities in South Dakota and Iowa while continuing efforts to nurture and develop new markets in Chicago, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Denver, Dallas and St. Louis. We have also restructured our international admissions program this year.

As the university begins a new recruiting cycle, we need your support more than ever. Campus visits play a critical role in a prospective student's college choice. You can become a difference-maker with visiting students in small ways (e.g. a simple smile or a friendly "hello") or in big ways by offering your assistance when called on by your dean or the Office of Admissions. You can also help spread the word about UNL's affordability and value.

Another way you can help the university with recruitment is by sharing the names of possible prospects with the Office of Admissions. Please e-mail the student's name, year in school and mailing address to

Once again, thank you for your continuing support. Working together, I believe we will achieve great things in 2005.

Alan L. Cerveny



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We all can help with recruitment