Many times over the last several months, the Enrollment Services team at NRCCUA has been asked by our member institutions how to increase the number of men in their incoming freshman classes. The answer might come from several different points in your funnel, but you really need to think about the very first time they might come into contact with your institution…when you select your search list. With the benefit of having the nation's largest college planning program, comes the data that helps us at NRCCUA help you when you are making those first initial decisions.
When analyzing the 1.3 million students currently in our program for the class of 2016, the answer becomes quite clear. The time has come to run separate searches based on gender. Women dominate the higher GPA’s, with 62% of the A average students being women. If you are using GPA as one of your few list criteria and just listing higher GPA averages, you are quite clearly missing out on men. The number of men don’t actually start to increase until you get to the B and B- average students. Once you get to a B- average, men account for 55.9% of our program which is quite a significant increase. Those numbers increase when you get to a C+ and C average, with 56.9% of those students being men.
Does this mean that just because men account for more B, B-, C+ and C students in our program, that they are bad students? Absolutely not! 22% percent of these students indicated that they were in a college preparatory curriculum in high school. 8% percent are taking honors courses, 7% are taking college credit courses and 6% are enrolled in AP courses. After working in enrollment management, over the last 13 years, I understand that there might be other needs when it comes to your enrolled class. Increasing academic quality is typically one of those needs. By separating gender when it comes to your list selection, you do not have to compromise on your GPA when it comes to women. But, it gives you a chance to get more men into your search programs…and ultimately your enrolled classes.
Fortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the best ways to define your search lists. In fact, the gender breakout of your search is just a culmination of how your selection process and NRCCUA can partner with you throughout that process.