Scholarship opportunities are set to increase for University of Oregon students after the school raised $12 million more than its 2016 donation goal of $70 million, according to the 2016 Annual Report.
“We’re still plowing through going stronger and stronger to raise even more money,” said Roger Thompson, the Enrollment Manager.
Thompson has a team of students called the Student Advisory Board that he consults for university decisions. The group was created in December 2016, but some members have praised the success of scholarship funding.
Sawyer Jenkins, a junior environmental studies major and member of the Student Advisory Board, is excited about the increased scholarship support.
“The funds for scholarships is fantastic because college is something that most people should be able to access,” Jenkins said.
UO also met other goals for 2016 in the report. It stated that 31 percent of the first-year class came from ethnic or racial minorities. This is an all-time high for the university and surpassed their goal to be at 30 percent by 2020.
However, not every goal was met in 2016. The university usually has around 24,000 students, but this year total enrollment was slightly under, at around 23,700. Thompson said that total enrollment being under is good because students are graduating quicker. The difference is small enough to not affect tuition, he said.
“It’s a small margin. Every student matters because they all pay tuition, but we had budgeted effectively,” Thompson said. “We were more focused on who the new students were coming in than on what the total enrollment would be.”
The team builds models to predict enrollment numbers. This can be difficult; however, the model that predicted the 2016 freshman class was accurate, Thompson said.
“I am really proud of our team. We have great people who work across so many different areas and I hope that they make a positive difference in what a student experiences,” Thompson said. “For much of fall 2017, that’s our goal: to really keep building in the direction and with the trajectory that we’ve been on.”