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Strategic Budget Advisory Committee (SBAC)
Strategic Budget Advisory Committee

Universities Wooing Out-of-State Students

The Associated Press

April 05, 2009

BOULDER, Colo.—As the national May 1 acceptance date looms for high school seniors to commit to universities, colleges are intensifying their efforts to lock in out-of-state students who often pay higher tuition.

At the University of Colorado, interim Chancellor Phil DiStefano said top university officials have been traveling to 18 major cities across the country since late March, visiting with high school seniors who were accepted to the school but haven't necessarily committed to attending.

On Saturday, CU hosted its first fair for admitted students and their families to tour the campus, meet with faculty and hear about financial aid. More than 3,500 potential freshmen and their parents came from as far as Hawaii.

CU says it gets about $2.6 million in annual revenue from every 100 out-of-state undergraduates, far more than the $641,000 it gets for every 100 Colorado undergraduates. But the recession has some students looking for cheaper tuition closer to home.

Out-of-state applications to CU this winter were down 19 percent from the same time last year, which marked a record-high admissions cycle. The number of Colorado applicants to the Boulder campus was down about 6 percent.

Public colleges and universities are bracing for lower yield rates from nonresidents, said Barmak Nassirian, spokesman for the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

CU leaders expect the next incoming class to have a higher percentage of in-state students. CU this admissions season has offered acceptance to 16,362 students, which is 1,480 less than last year at the same time.

Devon Theune, 18, of Monument, said the tight economy has limited her options for college.

"We're considering only in-state schools, simply because of the costs," Theune said.

Admissions counselors expect that for every four out-of-state students CU accepts, one enrolls. There's about a 50 percent yield rate for in-state applicants.

Nearly seven in 10 high school students say the downtrodden economy has affected where they applied to college this year, according to a survey of 12,715 college-bound students and 3,007 parents by the Princeton Review test-preparation company.