OT: MSU to have largest incoming freshman class in school history

Submitted by Maize and Luke on May 14th, 2018 at 6:00 AM
Ultimately I don't really care about their school enrollment but I did find this interesting and a bit perplexing. After such a highly publicized scandal and the despicable way it's been handled since this just comes as a big surprise to me. Apparently a public institution can be found guilty of deplorable acts and conduct, and still come out smelling like a rose. I guess my advice to MSU would be, keep doing what you're doing. Apparently it's working. Yikes. https://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2018/msu-to-welcome-largest-most-diverse-…

Comments

father fisch

May 14th, 2018 at 12:09 PM ^

To be honest, they have a larger more diverse class AND one with higher standards coming in.  It's harder to get into Michigan, so a lot of kids apply to MSU since they accept on a rolling basis.  A lot of Michigan schools are benefitting from performance creep.  As kids get better qualified, the fewer get accpeted to the top school in state.  Then all of the others get trickle-down admissions, lifitng the overall profiles of the schools.

I'm experiencing that now with my HS junior...

xtramelanin

May 14th, 2018 at 6:20 AM ^

out.  i guess we'd be more sensitive to molester state than other fan bases, but you have to think a good strategy for them would be/is to 'buy' themselves their largest incoming class ever, and then tout it to the world:  see, people love us! 

lhglrkwg

May 14th, 2018 at 6:24 AM ^

MSU remains a pretty solid school. If you're a graduating senior in Michigan, your options for in-state tuition and an education of MSU's caliber or better with D1 athletics mixed in are really just M and MSU. Did we expect everyone to just stop attending MSU?

Maize and Luke

May 14th, 2018 at 6:31 AM ^

I agree, to an extent. It's a good academic institution and you're right, choices are limited in-state. But while I never expected enrollment to come to a screeching halt, I can say I would have ever expected record enrollment either.

1989 UM GRAD

May 14th, 2018 at 6:58 AM ^

While of course not defending any of the actions that have taken place at MSU, do we really think people are going to stop attending what is, in reality, a fine (while not elite) college?

What do you expect an in-state student with, let's say, a 3.5 GPA and a 28 ACT to do?  This is a strong student with a very good "resume"...but who is most likely not going to get in to MIchigan.  Let's say they come from a middle-class family - one who can't afford the cost of an out of state school - and prefer to stay somewhat close to home.  What are the other realistic options?  Go to an inferior school?  Bite the bullet and incur loans/costs?  

I'm guessing most of you who are making these comments don't have high school aged kids.  

My son is just finishing up 11th grade.  He is more than a 50/50 chance of getting in to Michigan...but is by no means a "slam dunk."  So, we may be faced with deciding on a "plan B" option.   We are fortunate that we can afford to send him anywhere, but is it really worth it to spend double or triple on a school like Indiana or Boston University or even, heaven forbid, Ohio State...when he could go to Michigan State and get a fine education and, after earning great grades and exam scores, be admitted to almost any graduate school?

So, what would all of you suggest to the parents of kids who don't get in to Michigan and can't or don't want to spend the extra money to send their kid out of state?  Especially given the increased amount of research showing that the costs of college are spiraling and that where you attend undergrad isn't as important as your graduate school or how you perform in your first few jobs.

1989 UM GRAD

May 14th, 2018 at 7:20 AM ^

Yes, one reason could be that they made a strategic decision to take more kids in case the bad publicity takes its toll on future application levels.

Could also be because Michigan received record applications and rejected more kids than usual.  (Don't know if this is the case, but it's possible.)

Grand Valley has been gaining momentum within the state, so maybe this is MSU's way of fending them off?

Is there a population bulge among high school aged kids right now?

Did they take smaller classes the past few years?

Etc.

youn2948

May 14th, 2018 at 9:41 AM ^

To see the percentage UM's incoming class that is instate tuition versus out of state or out of country especially compared to say MSU.

Perhaps Michigan decided to take even more out of state students to make up for federal and state funds that have been decreasing, leading to those not getting in to take a scholarship at MSU instead.

The Krusty Kra…

May 14th, 2018 at 9:58 AM ^

Has been taking on more and more out of state kids to help fill the coffers (which is funny when the endowment is in the billions and donors are lining up to fire the money cannon) since the economic downturn. I graduated only four years ago and my friends and relatives still in school say they feel like there's less in-state kids. The university is obviously doing fine but having grown up around the school and still living in the area, I hope they eventually choose a point to stop growing out of state and still give kids who live in Michigan a shot. I had to transfer in after my freshman year at another college, so I can only imagine almost ten years later how much harder it is for kids in Michigan high schools to get an acceptance to U of M.

4th phase

May 14th, 2018 at 10:41 AM ^

Its funny because all out of staters say that its easier to get into UM being from instate because the school is a state institution and all instaters say that its easier to get in from out of state because the school makes more money on out of state kids for providing the same services. 

I'll go with its easier to get admitted from out of state because money talks (and I'm from Michigan).

BlueWon

May 14th, 2018 at 11:53 AM ^

so blanket statements are not really applicable as it depends where in Michigan you go to high school.

It's very tough to get into UM from some places in Michigan (such as Ann Arbor) as there are so many qualified applicants. It's tougher to get into UM from A2 than NY.

However, if you're from Escanaba...

ldd10

May 14th, 2018 at 11:32 AM ^

This is an interesting discussion I've had with folks.

UM is of course a fantastic university and does a great job with revenue given out-of-state students attending.  Then again, UM is a public school in the state of Michigan that is partially funded by taxpayers.  How should UM view that relationship with the state in relation to accepting students from Michigan?  How should state gov't view funding a public university if that university focuses so much on out-of-state students?

MSU does a solid job of providing a good education to a huge amount of in-state students (not sure their out-of-state numbers, but I do think they have a high foreign student body).

 

jmblue

May 14th, 2018 at 12:54 PM ^

Something like 8% of our operating budget comes from the state, while over 50% of our undergrads are state residents.  I wouldn't say the state government is getting a bad deal, if that's what you're suggesting.

 

jmblue

May 14th, 2018 at 1:16 PM ^

Yes, what's basically happened is that we've expanded our total enrollment by adding out-of-state students.  The number of in-state students is about the same.  (Which makes sense as while the U.S. population keeps growing, the state's population has been stagnant.)

Njia

May 14th, 2018 at 7:37 AM ^

I just went through this process with my son, three years after going through it with my daughter. My daughter, with a 4.15 GPA and a 31 ACT in high school, didn’t get a penny in scholarship offers to the five schools at which she applied (though she would have been eligible to apply for WMU’s Presidential Scholarship had she accepted their admissions offer). Being in-state, she decided to go to U-M; but Johns Hopkins was her dream school.

My son, for his part, only applied out of state. His resume was not nearly as good as my daughter’s: 3.4 GPA, 28 ACT. Nevertheless, each of the four schools to which he applied offered four-year, renewable scholarships, with an average of $15,000 per year. If he’d had my daughter’s grades, it would have likely been even more. I was floored. We don’t meet any socio-economic criteria, either.

The point is that colleges and universities in Michigan behave like they have a captive pool of applicants; and they probably do. Schools elsewhere seem much more generous with their resources.

Ezeh-E

May 14th, 2018 at 8:14 AM ^

It is amazing the difference in academic scores (GPA/SAT/ACT) between young women and young men. I was working at an institution wanting to keep gender/sex ratio at 50:50. If we had chosen applicants solely on "academic merit", we would have been about 75% female.

Had multiple male applicants complain about challenges getting in to top schools because of affirmative action, but they didn't realize that it was harder for women of color to get in than it was for them. The biggest leg up you can have applying to non-engineering-centric universities is to be male. That is, unless the university has named a building or a coach's title after your family.

1989 UM GRAD

May 14th, 2018 at 10:00 AM ^

Not doubting you at all, but are you exaggerating even slightly?  Is the imbalance in "resume" really that pronounced between male and female candidates?

We are concentrating our search on schools that are ranked roughly between 15th and 40th.  The schools at the higher end would be reach schools...and schools at the bottom (like Boston University) would be more in the safety category.

Is this imbalance of applicant qualifications also occurring at smaller schools like Tufts, Northwestern, etc?  We are looking at smaller schools...as we are concerned that a place like Michigan might not be the right fit for our son.

Thanks for any info you can provide.

M-Dog

May 14th, 2018 at 1:33 PM ^

I know multiple admissions officers from very elite schools.  Believe me, they are very focused on engineering their classes to "perfect levels".

They have said this many times in many different ways to us:  "We don't want diverse students . . . we want diverse classes."

They want their incoming classes to look a certain way.  They brag about it in the first page of their admissions brochures.

They flat out told us . . . the single most effective thing you can do to get your smart kid with good grades into their school is: 

Move to Montana. 

That's it, move to Montana.

They love to say they have students from every single state and most countries.  But they all have trouble getting kids from Montana.    

I was at a seminar with one of them.  They have elite kids in their schools, the best of the best.  Valedictorians.  Perfect grades.  First chair violins.  Eagle scouts.  All of it. 

But all they wanted to talk about was the motorcycle racer from Montana. 

Because they don't get many motorcycle racers from Montana.  Those other elite kids are a dime a dozen to them.

Direct quote:  "You think your kid stands out because he was valedictorian of his class.  But there are 30,000 high schools in the U.S.  We get literally thousands of valedictorians that apply here.  It means a lot to you and it should, but it does not stand out like you think it does."

 

Ghost of Fritz…

May 14th, 2018 at 1:53 PM ^

How much SAT/ACT gender imbalance is there in the top 15% of the distribution? 

Are you saying hat within the top 15% of SAT/ACT scores that the population is 75% female? That cannot be correct.

Top 30 universities are admitting very strong SAT/ACT and GPA applicants. 

I am aware that many universities are looking to keep gender balance close to equal and, therefore, it can be slightly easier to get admitted for males.  But only slightly.

As you have worked in admissions, did university counsel ever look into whether a gender preference violates with the Constitution?

Also, doesn't it depend on the program within the university?  The gender imbalance in some units be predominantly male, right?

Wolverine 73

May 14th, 2018 at 8:33 AM ^

But there was a recent article in the WSJ the gist of which was that most private schools sell tuition the way auto makers sell cars: no one pays sticker price. I got the sense that costs are so high a lot of people are eschewing private schools for in state public schools, so the private schools (except the most elite, I assume) have countered with sometimes massive discounts.

LeadersAndBeasts

May 14th, 2018 at 6:16 PM ^

With my high school senior daughter. It was cheaper for her to go to a private school than either Michigan or Michigan st. While you don’t get to enjoy the D1 athletics at a small school, I’ll take the equal or better education at a lower price every time...and I still have season tickets so she can still root for Michigan on Saturday’s if she chooses to.

Njia

May 14th, 2018 at 9:21 AM ^

The private university, in Dallas (not SMU), offered him $20K/year, which lowered the total cost of attendance to about $38K/year. Still pretty steep, but in the ballpark of in-state tuition in some places.

The other schools to which he applied: Arizona State (where he is enrolled for this fall), Toledo, and Houston. ASU's Dean's Scholarship, which he was awarded, is worth $14,500 per year.

PeterKlima

May 14th, 2018 at 10:57 AM ^

While your conclusion is that "colleges and universities in Michigan behave like they have a captive pool of applicants; and they probably do"... it is strange that you think this has to do with Michigan schools thinking their applicant base is different than other states.  Nothing in your post supports THAT being the reason it shook out that way. In fact, many people from out of state come to be students at Michigan schools. And students form Michigan go out of state.  Nobody seems to be thinking or acting as a "captive pool."

It seems more likely that the difference is in some other factor. It might be influenced by gender (as someone below points out) or the particular schools. My guess is that your son did not apply to as many prestigous schools as your daughter (based on their scores).  In my experience the highest level (John Hopkins, UM, Ivy League, etc.) are SUPER competitive nationally and scholarship money is hard to come by (other than need based).  However, the "good tier" of schools is really really trying to get the applicant scores they need to ascend up the ranks.  They will pay to make themselves look better. (And there are more of those "good" level schools than elite schools.)

Adding to that is that "good schools" in other states have to work hard to get kids from other states, like Michigan. They look for a diverse student body geographically too. You son also had that advantage when applying.  (On the other hand, elite schools have a much, much easier time with that.)

BTW - Congrats to both of them!

 

Njia

May 14th, 2018 at 12:30 PM ^

It's certainly true that the schools to which my son applied were not of the same tier as my daughter's choices. However, and this is just my opinion, the decision whether to attend a top tier insitution for an undergraduate degree should include some measure of financial consideration. 

When my daughter originally wanted to study vocal music performance (she's a soprano) her teacher - who is a professor of vocal music performance at Western Michigan - told her that the only thing she'd be qualified for when she got her Bachelor of Music degree would be a graduate degree in Music. He also said that he'd have a very difficult time telling someone who was going to take on significant debt (i.e. more than $100K) that an undergrad degree from a school like Oberlin or Eastman would be worth it. 

My experience with schools in Michigan, however, has been that scholarship money at the public universities and colleges just isn't as widely available. Most of the other parents with whom my kids went to school have said the same. Those who have looked out of state (even as close as Toledo) have had much easier access to scholarships beyond those that were exclusively need-based. Is it a bridge too far to suggest that it's because Michigan schools just don't need to try as hard? Perhaps; but if there's a better explanation, I'd love to hear it.

But, as others have pointed out, YMMV.

PeterKlima

May 14th, 2018 at 1:12 PM ^

I couldn't agree more with your statement that "However, and this is just my opinion, the decision whether to attend a top tier insitution for an undergraduate degree should include some measure of financial consideration."

True. Very True.

Also, private schools do have more funding options.  

I think the biggest reason for your kids findings are because of the need for out of state students on their campuses.  How many Michigan kids apply to a single college in Texas? And that schol wants to be national and have a diverse background for classroom and vanity reasons. Some schools even have guidelines for who they want to accept (i.e., Washington State may want at least 10 kids a year from Michigan or Ohio... if there are only a few dozen applicants in a given year from that state and most of those are kids who will likely stay in Michigan or Ohio...well... they start throwing money.

PeterKlima

May 14th, 2018 at 1:12 PM ^

I couldn't agree more with your statement that "However, and this is just my opinion, the decision whether to attend a top tier insitution for an undergraduate degree should include some measure of financial consideration."

True. Very True.

Also, private schools do have more funding options.  

I think the biggest reason for your kids findings are because of the need for out of state students on their campuses.  How many Michigan kids apply to a single college in Texas? And that schol wants to be national and have a diverse background for classroom and vanity reasons. Some schools even have guidelines for who they want to accept (i.e., Washington State may want at least 10 kids a year from Michigan or Ohio... if there are only a few dozen applicants in a given year from that state and most of those are kids who will likely stay in Michigan or Ohio...well... they start throwing money.

Njia

May 14th, 2018 at 1:57 PM ^

I think you're very right about the OOS students being more likely to get scholarships. It also depends on the school itself. At ASU, the university president is crafting an image for the school of "The New American University" by opening its doors to as diverse a student body as can be enrolled. 

KungFury

May 14th, 2018 at 12:44 PM ^

Granted this was 2007. The scholarship offers I got out of state basically brought the total cost down to the cost of an in state school. I think that can happen with out of state schools to make them more competitive vs a U of M where you may only get a little. I got enough to make it the best choice for me.

M go Bru

May 14th, 2018 at 8:23 AM ^

My younger son had similar HS grades / scores @ Catholic Central and got a 50% scholarship to LTU. Tuition is normally30Gs. He's majoring in industrial (product) design. Other in-state colleges had similar tuition rates for this major including Creative Center for Design, and Ferris State. Michigan doesn't really offer this major.

1989 UM GRAD

May 14th, 2018 at 9:40 AM ^

...the "resume" example I gave wasn't of my son.  Was trying to make the point that a strong but not elite student (who wants to live away from home and get a traditional big-school experience) from a middle class family might view MSU as their best option.

My son is signed up for LTU's summer high school program.  Thought it would be a great way for him to explore engineering, as he doesn't know what he wants to study in college.

Good luck to your son at LTU!

 

Perkis-Size Me

May 14th, 2018 at 8:33 AM ^

With the general cost of going to college continuing skyrocket year after year, coupled with more and more kids graduating w/o a well-paying job or with a "useful" degree, I'm really curious if we'll see trade schools make a big comeback over the next 10-20 years. 

Trade school costs a fraction of what going to a traditional university costs, any loan debt you incur usually gets paid off within a few years, and you come out of your program learning direct skills to go into an apprenticeship that, after a few years, leads to a very well-paying job. I know most kids would rather go for the "authentic" college experience, but will it be worth being tens of thousands of dollars in debt for years if you don't come out with a great job right out of the gate? 

 

WindyCityBlue

May 14th, 2018 at 10:23 AM ^

He's most famous for his show, Dirty Jobs, but he's part of several trade job advocacy groups.  He has a very interesting perspective and echoes much of what you are saying regarding the traditional college vs trade school route.

Here is segment when Mike Rowe was on Bill Maher.  Worth a watch: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls1YhhMHdNY

ldd10

May 14th, 2018 at 11:22 AM ^

There is a big push to get information about skilled trades out to high school students these days.  It makes a lot of sense - you don't need to go tens of thousands (if not more) into debt, yet could have a job paying $50k+ more when you are in your early 20's.  There is a ton of logic in students considering this path after high school.