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Falls Festival pg. 6 Wichita Falls’ annual outdoor concert festival brings out belly dancers, llamas and Texas country tunes pg. 8 Despite three losses over the weekend, the Lady Mustangs score first Lone Star Conference Victory on Sept. 22 wichitan ht e Wednesday — October 3, 2012 Win or Loss — your campus / your news University spends 104K on marketing campaign Brittney Cottingham Editor-In-Chief The university is paying $104,000 this year to a higher education consulting company, Noel-Levitz, in hopes of increasing enrollment. The Board of Regents decided in May for the first time in five years to use a new marketing campaign with Noel-Levitz to reach out to high school seniors with a direct marketing campaign and a recruiting plan. The funds for their services were received from the MSU Foundation. “The university will breakeven on the cost of the service if it realizes 17 additional students through these efforts,” said Keith Lamb, vice president of student affairs and enrollment management. Lamb said MSU would find this service to be of considerable value. Abilene Christian University, Tarleton State University and the University of Incarnate Word have all used the services of NoelLevitz. “A direct marketing campaign is one where you purchase lists of potential students and send them information about the school,” Lamb said. “I am sure every student at MSU received information from colleges during their junior and senior years of high school.” Lamb said hiring a marketing company is fairly standard in recruiting and is where an institution generates most of its prospect. Three direct marketing campaigns are being developed for Midwestern. One list is of 10,000 seniors, who received high scores on a predictive model of likelihood to enroll. According to Lamb, this week high school seniors will receive a hard copy letter, followed by 15 e-mails with different subjects. The second campaign is to 10,000 seniors not on the above list, that meet certain characteristics. The last campaign will be a spring campaign targeting high school juniors. “We want them to be familiar with MSU before they receive information their senior year,” Lamb said. “We feel the three campaigns is an aggressive first step for an institution that has not participated in direct market- Enrollment changes from fall 2011 to fall 2012 at Texas universities. MSU suffered the greatest decrease with 4.3 percent, while Tarleton State gained 3.87 percent in enrolled students. Graph by HANNNAH HOFMANN HELP pg. 3 Scholarship funds on the rise Cody Parish Staff Writer The balloon artist interacts with a child during Family Day. MSU provides family fun Photo by KERRI CARTER Cristina Martinez Staff writer What was supposed to be a bright, sunny day in the quad filled with inflatables, live music, and 2,003 students and their family members did not go according to plan. A rainy day replaced the expected sunshine and the quad that sits between Martin Hall and the Hardin Administration Building was traded for the Clark Student Center. Kevin Bazner, assistant director of student development and orientation, was in charge of Family Day. “Noon on Friday is when we made the call to have everything indoors and they started setting everything up in the student center Friday afternoon,” Bazner said. Bazner said the transition to Clark Student Center was not as bad as it could have been because they had an alternative plan from the beginning. However, some activities were compromised because of the rain, Bazner said. “The biggest thing we had to let go was the inflatables, but luckily the company that we worked with was very flexible. They even called us at the last minute to see if the rain was going to hold off,” Bazner said. Bazner and the Office of Student Development and Orientation were not alone in mak- ing sure that Family Day went smoothly in spite of the rain. Bazner had the help of more than 40 volunteers from the student ambassadors and the rugby team. “The rugby team was a big help,” he said. “They helped us tear everything down on campus and make the transition out to the stadium for the football game. Basically whenever we needed extra help, they were there for us.” There are 6,182 students enrolled this fall representing 41 states in the U.S. as well as 47 foreign countries. Bazner said even though many family members FAMILY pg. 3 Family day visitors enjoying a laugh at the comedy show with Daniel Martin. Photo by SHANICE GLOVER A more competitive approach to recruitment and retention also means an increase in the number of scholarships offered, according to Keith Lamb, vice president of student affairs and enrollment management. Funded by MSU Foundation, the scholarships would include scholarships for student housing and for students involved in campus activities. “The reason for offering scholarships to students involved in campus activities is engagement,” Lamb said. “A student who is engaged in campus life is more likely to persist and graduate. This lends itself to retention.” Lamb said university sponsored co-curricular programs would be considered for scholarships. “The only new program for which we offered this type of scholarship was the all-female cheer team,” Lamb said. “We may expand this concept as we move forward.” Students who are connected to university-sponsored, co-curricular activities persist towards a degree at a greater percentage than those who don’t, Lamb said. “In theory, it can help with retention,” he said. The university is also considering increasing housing scholarships. “Students in housing tend to persist and graduate at a greater rate than students who are not in housing,” Lamb said. “There is an extensive body of literature on the importance of housing to student success.” Lamb said it seems reasonable to offer scholarships in an area that plays a major role in student success. New academic scholarships would be geared toward attracting high school valedictorians, salutatorians, and students who earn minimum 1150 SAT scores or 25 ACT scores, regardless of class rank. “With out increased admission standards, our pool of potential students has declined,” Lamb said. “It is important, then, to be aggressive with the students who do met our admissions profile.” Increase awards to the President’s Distinguished Scholars and FUNDS pg. 5 Area high school seniors encouraged to choose MSU Ruth fitzgerald-black Staff Writer Local high school seniors will receive mail letters within the week, encouraging them to make Midwestern their university. This is one of many marketing strategies Keith Lamb, vice president of student affairs and enrollment management, has developed to attract freshman. Lamb said MSU plans to address the 4.9 percent enrollment drop by recruiting more students from the Metroplex as well as the Oklahoma City area. He said there are also plans to expand the availability of online classes to cater to distance education students. Area high school counselors have explained the reasons why students from the surrounding region are turning to other universities other than MSU that are not so close to home. According to Burkburnett High School counselor Susie Nix, some students simply want a change of scenery, which means moving away from the Wichita Falls area to expand their horizons. “In some cases, [high school seniors] either want to get away from certain people or situations that they have grown up with,” Nix said. “Occasionally, it is because they have family elsewhere or they have been raised to attend the university the family has attended.” Skyler Warrick, 20, is a junior from Wellington, Texas. Warrick said students from small towns tend to want to escape from the small-town mentality and hone their skills at larger universities. Similarly, many students wish to be farther away from their parents and the people they grew up with. In addition, larger universities usually entail larger cities with exponentially greater opportunities. “Most of my graduating class actually chose to attend West Texas A&M,” Warrick said. “The main reason I chose MSU, is because I am on a basketball scholarship.” Had Warrick not received her basketball scholarship, she would have been more likely to attend a D1 university out-of-state, she said. “If students want to attend MSU in order to obtain a broadcasting degree, one must actually graduate with a major in mass communication, with a minor in broadcasting.” Warrick said this is not the case at larger universities in Texas, which tend to have more specific degree plans, she said. Ryan McKelvy, 22, a first-year history graduate, grew up in Wichita Falls, but attended high school in Rockwall, half an hour away from the Metroplex area. McKelvy said most students from Rockwall choose Midwestern, because they want to be more than a short drive away from their hometowns and parents. “Sure, there are closer universities to Rockwall than Wichita Falls, but MSU is just the right amount of distance away from their parents, without being too far away or out-of-state,” McKelvy said. Barbara Merkle, director of admissions, said area students use a vast number of search engines, including social media outlets, when shopping for a college that is right for them. “For the fall 2012 semester, we received 3208 ­­applications from beginning freshmen, and we admitted 1532,” she said. MSU tries to go above and beyond in order to encourage stu- REASONS pg. 3

October 3, 2012

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