According to a recent survey, factors such as housing guarantees and late acceptance letters are driving away prospective students from Temple.
A recent survey said the number of students who were accepted to Temple but chose to go elsewhere has increased by nearly 5 percent since last year. What if it’s down by another 5 percent next year, and the year after?
Responses to the survey, which asked non-enrollers to give reasons why they chose another school, varied. Aside from financial worries, responses included things such as, “campus not aesthetically pleasing” and “co-op program not as good as other schools.” But Temple can take that kind of criticism.
What the university shouldn’t be hearing, though, are reasons such as, “I wasn’t guaranteed housing” or “the out-of-state grants weren’t enough.” One anonymous non-enroller said, “I got accepted to Drexel Jan. 20 and to Temple in April, even though I submitted both applications in September.”
Something just seems wrong with these accounts.
For what reason can Temple – one of four schools in Pennsylvania deemed “state-related,” rendering it independent from the state but able to receive public funds – not afford to grant more funding to out-of-state students?
As an enormous institution with its power in the community, Temple should have no qualms about giving out-of-state students a break, especially since there’s a great chance they’ll end up enrolling and boosting its reputation.
No administrator or financial counselor can deny Temple’s superpower status in North Philadelphia or the millions of dollars spent each year on aesthetic – sometimes unnecessary – renovations to Main Campus. No one can deny that the university will charge students for facilities they didn’t know they were using and papers they’re not printing. If students’ money is being taken from them, it should at least go toward something that can benefit potential students.
Another breaking point for several non-enrollers, much to my surprise, was the late acceptance rate. Personally, I wanted to go to Temple, so I waited until I heard from them to enroll.
But some people aren’t sure Temple is where they want to go, and they need something to reel them in – getting an acceptance letter four months before the fall semester might set things off on the wrong foot. If prospective students are on the fence about Temple, they need to know admissions chose them for a reason. They need to know they weren’t forgotten about.
Temple has a “rolling admission” policy, which makes the application process easy not only on applicants but on the admissions staff too. There’s no pressing deadline for students to make, so admissions doesn’t have to be swamped with applications on the last day or begin scurrying to accept people in a timely fashion. But, as it seems from the results of the non-enrollers survey, they’re waiting until the last minute anyway.
A final complaint reiterated on the survey was about housing. Yes, Temple is running out of space for students. But somehow, the freshman classes keep growing, even though enrollers-versus-acceptances are down.
Three years ago, Temple guaranteed housing for a student’s first two years. Last year, some freshmen were put into upperclassmen apartments because the dorms were full, and a few eyebrows rose.
This year, Temple Towers residence hall sacrificed space – one of the apartments’ few desirable qualities before they were renovated – to accommodate as many as eight people per residence.
“You weren’t guaranteeing me housing,” one student commented. “I really wanted to go here. Temple was my first choice, but where would I live?”
Without the guarantee of housing for incoming freshmen, Temple is doomed to lose enrollers each year. Suburban and out-of-state parents are often wary enough about sending their barely-legal children to a big city, and a lack of campus security in their kids’ first years isn’t exactly comforting.
Carlene Majorino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.