Dell’Omo discusses RMU by the numbers

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Dell’Omo discusses RMU by the numbers

Kendall Valan, Assistant News Editor

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President Gregory Dell’Omo hosted the university’s bi-annual town hall meetings last Tuesday and Thursday to announce growing enrollment numbers, changes to the Strategic Plan and to honor staff achievement award winners.

Enrollment

According to enrollment data, there are 792 freshmen students on campus this fall, making the undergraduate total 4,560, a jump from last year’s 4,488. The graduate program is down 73 students from last year due to economic influences. The total attendance on campus is about 5,500 students.

White male student population is at an all-time high. Fewer females were admitted, three percent less than the previous year. The number of non-athlete, out-of-state students has also decreased. Only 64 new international students have come to campus. Minority student enrollment has also dropped to 14.7 percent.

While diversity has thinned out, admissions have kept a positive attitude, with incoming students submitting higher SAT averages.

“Many times there is that thousand SAT student who gets involved, interacts with faculty, becomes involved with organizations, studies abroad. They take full advantage. We provide them with a platform to grow, develop, mature, and they go off to do wonderful things. I think that is a part of our strength, is to provide that platform,” said Dell’Omo.

Admissions’ goals are to attract more students without athletic contracts and target potential students living in the “hot-market” areas east of Harrisburg. Starting this year, the university has hired a new regional admissions counselor located in the Philadelphia area, working full-time in order to attract more students from that opposite side of the state.

Financial Aid – Scholarships

Information from the financial office was presented during the town hall meeting to show an increase of freshmen merit scholarship, two percent higher than the budget target of 42.9 percent.

“We watch this very closely. This is what schools who are well-managed are really watching…This is a number that could make you or break you,” said Dell’Omo.

The president reports that the university manages a budget based on the average RMU student that attends the university all four years. The issue arising is that those with higher merit scholarship are more likely to stay throughout their entire college career. In turn, less tuition dollars are coming back to the university.

Other factors of the increase include fewer numbers of international students and more scholarships awarded to new athletes.

Gallup-Purde Index 2014

In February, Gallup and Purdue University created the Gallup-Purdue Index, surveying 30,000 college graduates nationwide to determine a correlation between an involved college experience and postgraduate well-being. The data showed a significant link to university mentorship and applied education with long-term workplace engagement.

“Workplace engagement has nothing to do with title and income. It is all personal to you and what you find is the emotional connection,” said Dell’omo.

Robert Morris joined the index server in August as an addition to the five year Strategic Plan (2014-19) under the vision of “preparing students for a lifetime of engagement, leadership and well being.”

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