Miami puts emphasis on out-of-state recruitment
Published: Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 01:10
Miami University’s campus draws students from fields and skyscrapers, from east and west, from the U.S. and overseas. Miami is increasingly focusing on recruiting out-of-state and international students, a goal of the Strategic Priorities Task Force, according to David Creamer, vice president for Finance and Business Services.
David Keitges is the director of international education. He said Miami and other public universities are looking out-of-state to recruit students because there are less Ohio students graduating from high school due to smaller family sizes and migration toward the Sun Belt states.
Keitges also said out-of-state students, including international students, pay higher tuition and boost revenues for universities. The tuition cost for Ohio residents for the 2012-2013 academic year is $13,067, while the tuition cost for non-Ohio students is $28,631.
“The university as a whole right now is slightly less than 40 percent out-of-state [students],” Keitges said. “But clearly somewhere down the road, the university is looking at a 50-50 solution: 50 percent in state, 50 percent out-of-state. If you go to 50 percent in out-of-state or international students paying higher tuition, you have generated a whole lot more revenue.”
Miami is also facing the reality of fewer high school students graduating and continuing on to college, according to Keitges.
“Another reason is financial. It is clearly financial,” Keitges said. “For instance look at it this way, Ohio is not graduating as many students as it used to. That is because families are getting smaller, some of them are getting smaller. We all have built our universities on a certain base of expecting a certain number of students. But that number is going down so you have to go out of state to find students to fill the universities.”
Out-of-state students do help Miami offset the cost of running a university, according to Keitges.
“You need that money because higher education is an expensive business,” Keitges said. “If you look around the campus and see all the buildings being built, it cost a whole lot of money. So you should view international recruitment in the context of a bigger recruitment effort for out of state students, not just international students themselves.”
One of the major ways Miami is addressing international recruitment is the ACE (American Culture and English) program. The goal of the program is to offer international students the opportunity to improve their English skills, according to Michael Kabbaz, the associate vice president of enrollment management.
“[The program] gives an opportunity for the university to bring in phenomenally talented students and at the same time make sure their English is up to standards,” Kabbaz said.
Kabbaz said last fall the program had 26 students and this fall, it has a little over 50 students, nearly doubling in size.
The increase in participation in the ACE program reflects the increase in international students at Miami. According to data provided by the Office of International Education, there has been a 19.2 percent increase in international students enrolled at the Oxford campus from spring 2011 to the present.
Miami’s focus on welcoming international students reflects the national trend. The number of international students in the U.S. has increased 32 percent over the past decade, according to the Open Doors International Student Census.
The majority of the international students studying at Miami, 72 percent, come from China. This also reflects a national pattern: One-fifth of international students who studied in the U.S. last year are from China, Kabbaz said.
In the U.S., Kabbaz said Miami has added two new recruiters in Atlanta and the Washington, D.C. area. Outside of the U.S., Kabbaz said Miami’s future goals include diversifying the international population. He said Miami is looking toward India, the Middle East and a previously untouched area of recruitment, South America.
Keitges said campuses like Miami should reflect a global world.
“We have traditionally been a rather mainstream campus, mostly Caucasian students and many from Ohio and rural or suburban areas,” Keitges said. “What we’re trying to do is bring students from all around the world and the United States.”
Keitges said Miami provides support to international students once they are enrolled at Miami, including a two-week orientation program.