ACT Enrollment Management Trends Report 2012

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Released at noon on July 12, 2012 at ACT's annual Enrollment Planners Conference in Chicago

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ACT Enrollment Management Trends Report 2012

  1. 1. Enrollment Management Trends Report | 2012A snapshot of the 2011 ACT-tested high school graduates
  2. 2. ACT is an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides assessment, research, information, and program management services in the broad areas of education and workforce development. Each year, we serve millions of people in high schools, colleges, professional associations, businesses, and government agencies, nationally and internationally. Though designed to meet a wide array of needs, all ACT programs and services have one guiding purpose—helping people achieve education and workplace success. A copy of this report can be found at www.act.org/emtrends© 2012 by ACT, Inc. All rights reserved. The ACT® is a registered trademark of ACT, Inc., in the U.S.A. and other countries.The ACT National Curriculum Survey® is a registered trademark of ACT, Inc., in the U.S.A.The SAT® exam is a registered trademark of the College Board. 18256
  3. 3. Enrollment Management Trends ReportACT created the Enrollment Management Trends Report graduates once they get to college or to work and how theyto provide enrollment managers and other college can maximize success—based on their preparation fromadministrators with information about students’ patterns kindergarten through high school. This unique information isduring the college choice process of the 2011 high school an invaluable resource as ACT works closely with states,graduates who took the ACT® test. school districts, and postsecondary institutions to transformMore than 1.6 million students—roughly half of the them into a better-aligned P–16 education system.graduating class of 2011—took the ACT during high school. Sources of InformationOf these students, a little more than 70% enrolled in collegethe following fall. This report covers such topics as the Unless otherwise noted, all information in this report comesstudents’ migration patterns, the time in which they first took from the ACT-tested high school graduating class of 2011.the ACT, their participation in ACT’s Educational Opportunity Information in this report—such as the students’Service (EOS), and their score-sending behavior. background characteristics, time of testing, ACT scores, college preferences, participation in EOS, and collegeOur Unique Added Value choices—is collected when students register for and takeACT has been measuring the academic achievement of the ACT. Enrollment information for the ACT-tested11th- and 12th-grade students since 1959, their career graduating class comes from the National Studentaspirations since 1969, and their academic preparation in Clearinghouse (NSC) and is supplemented by enrollmenthigh school since 1985. Since 1996, and every three to five information from ACT’s Class Profile Service.1years thereafter, ACT surveys thousands of high school andcollege educators to pinpoint the knowledge and skills ACT believes that the information provided in this report willneeded for first-year college coursework. give institutions insight into their current enrollment management practices and offer effective strategies forACT is the only organization with decades of empirical improvement.information showing exactly what happens to high schoolPercent of High School Graduating Class Taking the ACT, • Between 2002 and 2011, the number of high school graduates who took the ACT2002–2011 increased by 45%, from 1,116,082 to 100! 1,623,112. • As a share of all high school graduates, 80! students who took the ACT increased by 10 percentage points, from 39% in 2002 to 49% in 2011. 60! Percent! 45! 47! 49! • The upward trend in ACT participation is 42! 43! 39! 40! 40! 40! 40! due in part to (1) a number of new states 40! (KY, MI, TN, and WY) administering the ACT to all 11th graders, and (2) 20! participation increases in large states such as California, Florida, New York, and Texas. As ACT participation rates have 0! 2002! 2003! 2004! 2005! 2006! 2007! 2008! 2009! 2010! 2011! increased, the pool of ACT-tested students Graduating Year! has become more representative of the nation’s high school graduates.Graph reads: 49% of the high school graduating class of 2011 took the ACT.1 More than 3,300 colleges participate in the NSC, and these institutions enroll more than 96% of all undergraduates in the United States. Given this broadcoverage, we make the assumption in this report that students not identified by the NSC or by ACT did not enroll in college; however, it is possible thatsome of these students attended a postsecondary institution that does not currently participate in the NSC or in ACT’s Class Profile Service. Enrollment Management Trends Report 3
  4. 4. College Readiness Benchmark Attainment The ACT College Readiness Benchmarks are the minimum College Course ACT Subject Test* ACT Benchmark English, reading, mathematics, and science scores English Composition English 18 required for students to have a 50% chance of obtaining Social Sciences Reading 21 a B or higher or about a 75% chance of obtaining a C or College Algebra Mathematics 22 higher in the corresponding credit-bearing college course. Biology Science 24 * ACT Subject Test scores range from 1 to 36.More than 1.6 million students of the Percent of ACT-Tested High School Graduates by Number ofhigh school graduating class of 2011 ACT College Readiness Benchmarks Attained, 2011took the ACT during high school.• Seventy-two percent of these 245,604 students met at least 1 of the 4 Met 1 College Readiness Benchmarks. 458,399 Benchmark! 15%! Met No• There are far too many students— Benchmarks! 278,528 28%—who met none of the College 28%! Met 2 Readiness Benchmarks. ACT Benchmarks! 17%! research shows that these students are less likely to enroll in college, Met All 4 Met 3 persist over time, and complete a Benchmarks! Benchmarks! degree program within 6 years. 397,712 25%! 15%! 242,869 Graph reads: In 2011, 25% (or 397,712) of ACT-tested high school graduates met all 4 College Readiness Benchmarks.Of the ACT-tested high school College Type Attended by Number of Collegegraduating class of 2011, 53% enrolled Readiness Benchmarks Attained, 2011in a 4-year college, 18% enrolled in a2-year college, and 29% did not enroll 100!in college. 80!• A student’s likelihood of enrolling in 80! 69! a 4-year college increased with the 56! number of College Readiness 60! Percent! 50! Benchmarks attained. 45!• A student’s likelihood of either 40! 31! 26! enrolling in a 2-year college or not 25! 18! enrolling in college decreased as 20! 24! 14! 23! 20! the number of College Readiness 13! 6! Benchmarks attained increased. 0!• Of those high school graduates Zero! One! Two! Three! Four! Number of College Readiness Benchmarks Attained! who met either 0 or 1 Benchmark, more than 300,000 did not enroll in 4-Year! 2-Year! Not Enrolled! college. Graph reads: 80% of the ACT-tested high school graduating class of 2011 who met all 4 College Readiness Benchmarks enrolled at a 4-year college. Note: Percentages may not sum to 100% due to rounding.4 Enrollment Management Trends Report
  5. 5. ParticipationAlthough both ACT and SAT® scores are accepted at 5 categories based on their ratio of ACT- and SAT-testedvirtually all postsecondary institutions that require an high school graduates. The table below lists for each ofadmissions test, there remain state and regional differences these state categories the ratio of ACT- and SAT-testedin the share of high school graduates who take each test. students that defines the category, the number of states in• In 26 states, at least 60% of the high school graduating the category, and the number of ACT-tested students class of 2011 took the ACT. In 12 of these states, at least across those states. The table also provides for each state 80% of their graduates took the ACT. category the average ACT Composite score and the percentage of students whose family income is greater than• Comparatively, in 18 states and in DC, at least 60% of all $60,000. 2011 high school graduates took the SAT. In 4 of these states, at least 80% of their graduates took the SAT. As you will see throughout this report, ACT-tested students from “ACT+” and “ACT” states often exhibit the studentACT research shows that ACT-tested students differ both in testing and enrollment behaviors of the typical college-terms of their background characteristics and their college bound population in those states. ACT-tested students fromselection behaviors depending on the ACT and SAT “SAT” and “SAT+” states, however, frequently exhibitparticipation rates in the state. To illustrate some of these different testing and enrollment behaviors.differences in this report, we have classified states into State ACT-Tested Family Income Average Category Criteria States Students > $60K ACT Composite ACT+ ACT to SAT ratio of 4+ to 1 21 848,854 39% 20.7 ACT ACT to SAT ratio of 1.5+ to 1  4 121,176 46% 21.7 ACT/SAT ACT to SAT ratio of roughly 1 to 1  5 176,544 33% 19.8 SAT SAT to ACT ratio of 1.5+ to 1 15 424,134 49% 21.9 SAT+ SAT to ACT ratio of 4+ to 1  6  52,404 65% 22.8Classification of States by ACT and SAT Participation, 2011 • At 32 to 1, North Dakota had the largest ratio of ACT-tested to SAT-tested high school graduates. Maine had the largest ratio of SAT-tested to ACT-tested graduates, at 9 to 1. • In 2011, 100% of the high school graduates in 6 states (CO, IL, KY, MI, TN, and WY) took the ACT. Maine had the largest share of students from the graduating class of 2011 who took the SAT, at 86%. ACT+ ACT ACT/SAT SAT SAT+Map reads: For the high school graduating class of 2011, Michigan is categorized as an “ACT+” state.Note: State categories were determined by calculating a ratio of ACT-tested and SAT-tested studentsin each state. Washington, DC, not shown, is categorized as an “SAT” state. Enrollment Management Trends Report 5
  6. 6. Student Migration and Academic AchievementSeventy-one percent of the Percent of ACT-Tested College Students Enrolled Out of StateACT-tested high school graduating by ACT Composite Score, 2011class of 2011 enrolled in college.Of these students, 21% attended 100!college out of state.An enrolled student’s likelihood of 80!attending college out of stateincreased with his or her ACT 60! 51!Composite score.• Students with a score of 24 or Percent! 36! 40! higher were more likely than 26! average to attend college out of 18! state, whereas students with a 20! 12! 13! National = 21%! score of 23 or lower were less likely than average to enroll out of state. 0!• Just over one-half of all students 1–15! 16–19! 20–23! 24–27! 28–32! 33–36! ACT Composite Score Range! with a score between 33 and 36 enrolled out of state, compared with Graph reads: 51% of ACT-tested college students with an ACT Composite score between only 12% of students with a score 33 and 36 enrolled out of state. of 15 or lower.An enrolled student’s likelihood of Percent of ACT-Tested College Students Enrolled Out of Stateattending college out of state varied by by State Category, 2011the ACT and SAT participation rates inthe state. 100!• Compared to the migration patterns of students from “ACT” and “ACT+” 80! states, ACT-tested students from “SAT” and “SAT+” states had a 60! higher likelihood of attending Percent! 51! college out of state. 40!• In “SAT+” states, a little more than 26! one-half of all ACT-tested students 21! 18! enrolled out of state. This is more 20! 16! 15! than twice the out-of-state enrollment rate for students from 0! “ACT+” states. ACT+! ACT! ACT/SAT! SAT! SAT+! National! State Category! Graph reads: 18% of ACT-tested college students from “ACT+” states enrolled out of state.6 Enrollment Management Trends Report
  7. 7. Median Distance to College by ACT Composite Score, 2011 Of those ACT-tested high school graduates who enrolled in college, the median distance between home and 200! college was 51 miles. 172! The distance between a student’s 160! home and college increased exponentially with ACT CompositeDistance (in Miles)! 112! score. 120! • For students with a score of 15 or 78! lower, the median distance to 80! college was less than 20 miles. 45! • For students with a score between 40! 27! National = 51 miles! 18! 33 and 36, the median distance to college was just over 170 miles. 0! 1–15! 16–19! 20–23! 24–27! 28–32! 33–36! ACT Composite Score Range!Graph reads: Among ACT-tested college students with an ACT Composite score between33 and 36, the median distance between home and college was 172 miles.Median Distance to College by State Category, 2011 The distance between an ACT-tested student’s home and college also differed considerably by the ACT and 100! SAT participation rates in the state. 87! • A typical ACT-tested student from 80! 77! an “SAT” or “SAT+” state traveled farther to attend college than aDistance (in Miles)! student from an “ACT” or “ACT+” 60! 51! state. 44! 41! • The median distance to college 40! 33! for ACT-tested students from “SAT+” states was 87 miles. This 20! is more than twice the median distance to college traveled by 0! students from “ACT+” states. ACT+! ACT! ACT/SAT! SAT! SAT+! National! State Category!Graph reads: Among ACT-tested college students from “SAT” states, the median distancebetween home and college was 77 miles. Enrollment Management Trends Report 7
  8. 8. Student Migration and Academic AchievementAs noted previously, student mobility Percent of ACT-Tested College Students Enrolled Out of Stateincreases with ACT Composite score (ACT Composite Score 1–23), 2011and it differs by the ACT and SATparticipation rates in the state. Themaps on this page illustrate thevariability across states in the share oftheir ACT-tested college students whoenrolled out of state.The first map focuses on the migrationpatterns of enrolled students who hadan ACT Composite score of 23 orlower. Students within this score rangewere less likely than average to attendcollege out of state.• Twenty-one states, most of which are located in the southern and Midwestern parts of the country, < 15% 15%–19% 20%–29% 30%–49% 50%+ had fewer than 15% of students in Map reads: In California, less than 15% of ACT-tested college students with an ACT Composite this score range enroll out of state; score between 1 and 23 enrolled out of state. DC and 7 states located mostly in Note: Washington, DC, not shown, is categorized as “50%+.” the northeastern part of the country had 50% or more of these students attending college out of state.The second map focuses on the Percent of ACT-Tested College Students Enrolled Out of Statemigration patterns of enrolled students (ACT Composite Score 24–36), 2011who had an ACT Composite score of24 or higher. Students within this scorerange were more likely than average toenroll out of state.• Only 2 states, Arkansas and Utah, had fewer than 15 percent of students in this score range attending college out of state; DC and 12 states located mostly in the northeastern part of the country had 50% or more of these students enrolling out of state. < 15% 15%–19% 20%–29% 30%–49% 50%+ Map reads: In Maine, 50% or more ACT-tested college students with an ACT Composite score between 24 and 36 enrolled out of state. Note: Washington, DC, not shown, is categorized as “50%+.”8 Enrollment Management Trends Report
  9. 9. The graph below shows the intersection of college student Positive numbers represent a net gain in the averagemigration and academic achievement for ACT-tested achievement level of ACT-tested students enrolled in thatstudents in each state and DC. Student migration is state, whereas negative numbers represent a net loss. Formeasured by college enrollment patterns, and academic example, the average ACT Composite score for studentsachievement is measured by ACT Composite score. who migrated into Tennessee to attend college was aboutAlong the horizontal axis is the college migration ratio for 1 point higher than the average score for students whoeach state. Ratios that are greater than 1 to 1 represent a migrated out of Tennessee. In contrast, the average ACTnet gain of ACT-tested students for the state, whereas ratios Composite score for students who migrated into Idaho wasthat are less than 1 to 1 represent a net loss of ACT-tested about 2 points lower than the average score for studentsstudents for the state. For example, West Virginia gained who migrated out of the state.about 3 ACT-tested college enrollees from other states for In looking at the intersection of college student migrationeach of its ACT-tested high school graduates that attended and academic achievement, states fall into 1 of 4 categoriescollege out of state. California, on the other hand, lost about based on their ACT-tested population: states that have2 of its ACT-tested high school graduates to colleges in (1) enrollment gain and brain gain, (2) enrollment gain butother states for each ACT-tested college enrollee who came brain drain, (3) enrollment loss but brain gain, andinto California. (4) enrollment loss and brain drain.Along the vertical axis is the difference in the average ACTComposite score between students coming into the state toattend college and those leaving the state to attend college.State Migration Patterns and Academic Achievement, 2011* • Thirty-one states and DC had 2.5! migration ratios that were greater MA! UT! than 1 to 1; 19 states had migration 2! Enrollment Loss Enrollment Gain ratios that were less than 1 to 1. Brain Gain MI! Brain GainDifference in Mean ACT Composite Score! 1.5! (9 states) GA! (15 states + DC) SC! • Roughly half of all states had an ME! IN! 1! TN! LA! VT! average ACT Composite score for DE! MD! MO! PA! in-migrating students that was CA! 0.5! FL! NY! MT! higher than the average score for VA! 0! IL! TX! WA! WI! AR! ND! out-migrating students. MN! NE! OK! AL! CT! CO! -0.5! HI! OH! MS! * States Not Shown NC! -1! NH! SD! AZ! IA! Migration Difference in OR! -1.5! WY! State Ratio Mean ACT Enrollment Loss Enrollment Gain Brain Drain KY! Brain Drain AK 1 : 7.1 –2.8 -2! (10 states) ID! (16 states) WV! NV! DC 4.2 : 1 +5.0 -2.5! 1:3! 1:2! 1:1! 2:1! 3:1! KS 1.2 : 1 –3.4 Ratio of In-Migration to Out-Migration! NJ 1 : 12.5 –2.4Graph reads: West Virginia gained about 3 ACT-tested college enrollees from other states for each NM 1 : 1.5 –3.5of its ACT-tested high school graduates who enrolled out of state. The average ACT Compositescore for students who migrated into West Virginia to attend college was about 2 points lower than RI 4.4 : 1 –0.8the average score for students who migrated out of West Virginia. Enrollment Management Trends Report 9
  10. 10. Time of First TestingSeventy percent of the ACT-tested College Type Attended by Time of First Testing, 2011graduating class of 2011 first tested in11th grade, whereas 30% first testedin 12th grade. Relative to their peers 100!who test earlier, students who first testin 12th grade have been largely 80!overlooked by the recruitment effortsof colleges and scholarship agencies. 60! 56! Percent!In this section of the report, we 47!highlight a few of the characteristics of 40! 32!these test takers. 28! 21!Although there are some differences in 20! 17!the postsecondary destinations of theACT-tested graduating class of 2011 0!by the time of first testing, the overall Grade 11! Grade 12!pattern is similar. Time of First Testing!• Of those students who first tested 4-Year! 2-Year! Not Enrolled! in 12th grade, 68% went on to Graph reads: 47% of the ACT-tested high school graduating class of 2011 who first tested in college; among those who first 12th grade enrolled at a 4-year college. tested in 11th grade, 72% went on Note: ACT tests taken before 11th grade were not included. Percentages may not sum to 100% to college. due to rounding.• Compared to a student who first tested in 11th grade, a student who first tested in 12th grade had a lower likelihood of enrolling in a Time of First Testing Among ACT-Tested High School 4-year college and a higher Graduates by Family Income Level, 2011 likelihood of enrolling in a 2-year college. 100! 80! 74! 75! 70! 65! 60! Percent!The grade level in which students firsttook the ACT differed by family income 40! 35! 30!level. 26! 25!• A student’s likelihood of first taking 20! the ACT in 12th grade decreased as family income level increased. 0!• Despite this downward trend by < $36K! $36K–$60K! $60K–$100K! $100K+! Family Income Level! family income level, roughly a quarter of all ACT-tested high Grade 11! Grade 12! school graduates whose family Graph reads: 26% of the ACT-tested high school graduating class of 2011 whose family earned earned $60,000 or above first between $60,000 and $100,000 first tested in 12th grade. tested in 12th grade. Note: Based on 74% of the ACT-tested graduating class of 2011 who reported family income level when registering for the ACT. ACT tests taken before 11th grade were not included.10 Enrollment Management Trends Report
  11. 11. Time of First Testing Among ACT-Tested High School The grade level in which a student first took the ACT differed by his or herGraduates by ACT Composite Score, 2011 ACT Composite score. 100! • A student’s likelihood of first taking 86! 82! the ACT in 12th grade decreased as 76! 80! 70! ACT Composite score increased. 64! 61! • Nonetheless, 1 in 5 students with 60! an ACT Composite score of 24 orPercent! 39! higher first tested in 12th grade. 36! 40! 30! • A student’s likelihood of first taking 24! 18! the ACT in 11th grade increased as 20! 14! ACT Composite score increased. 0! 1–15! 16–19! 20–23! 24–27! 28–32! 33–36! ACT Composite Score Range! Grade 11! Grade 12!Graph reads: 18% of the ACT-tested high school graduating class of 2011 with an ACTComposite score between 28 and 32 first tested in 12th grade.Note: ACT tests taken before 11th grade were not included.Time of First Testing Among ACT-Tested High School The grade level in which a student first took the ACT varied considerably byGraduates by State Category, 2011 the ACT and SAT participation rates in 100! the state. 83! • In “ACT+” states, 17% of students 80! tested for the first time in 12th grade 70! 64! and 83% tested for the first time in 60! 54! 53! 11th grade. This large share ofPercent! 52! 46! 48! 47! students who first tested in 11th 40! 36! grade is due in part to the “ACT+” 30! category comprising those states 20! 17! (CO, IL, KY, MI, TN, and WY) that administered the ACT statewide to all public high school 11th graders. 0! ACT+! ACT! ACT/SAT! SAT! SAT+! National! • In contrast, about half of all ACT- State Category! tested students in “ACT/SAT,” “SAT,” Grade 11! Grade 12! and “SAT+” states tested for the first time in 12th grade.Graph reads: 47% of the ACT-tested high school graduating class of 2011 from “SAT+” statesfirst tested in 12th grade.Note: ACT tests taken before 11th grade were not included. Enrollment Management Trends Report 11
  12. 12. EOS ParticipationStudents can opt into the ACT Percent Opting Into EOS by Time of First Testing andEducational Opportunity Service (EOS) ACT Composite Score, 2011when they register to take the ACT.EOS provides students with information 100! 92! 91! 90! 89!about educational and financial aid 86! 84!opportunities by making the names of 90! 89! 80! 84! 84!ACT-tested students available to 79! 75!colleges and scholarship agencies that 60! Percent!meet EOS eligibility guidelines. About88% of the ACT-tested high school 40!graduating class of 2011 opted intoEOS during high school. 20!A student’s likelihood of opting intoEOS differed by the intersection of the 0!time of first testing and the students’ 1–15! 16–19! 20–23! 24–27! 28–32! 33–36!ACT Composite score. ACT Composite Score Range!• For students who first tested in Grade 11! Grade 12! 11th grade, a larger share of Graph reads: 79% of the ACT-tested high school graduating class of 2011 who first tested in students with scores in the middle 12th grade and had an ACT Composite score between 28 and 32 opted into EOS. ranges of the score scale opted into Note: ACT tests taken before 11th grade were not included. EOS relative to the share of students at either the lower or upper ranges of the score scale.• For students who first tested in 12th grade, the share of students Percent Opting Into EOS by Time of First Testing and who opted into EOS declined State Category, 2011 steadily as their scores increased. 100! 91! 90! 89! 90! 88! 89! 87! 88! 88! 89! 83! 83!An ACT-tested student’s likelihood of 80!opting into EOS differed very little bythe ACT and SAT participation rates 60! Percent!in the state.• Compared to the other state 40! categories, a smaller percentage of students in “SAT+” states opted into 20! EOS. Opt-in rates for “SAT+” states, however, were higher than 80%. 0!• Within each state category, the EOS ACT+! ACT! ACT/SAT! SAT! SAT+! National! opt-in rate did not differ much by State Category! time of first testing. Across all state Grade 11! Grade 12! categories, a large majority of Graph reads: 89% of the ACT-tested high school graduating class of 2011 from “ACT+” states who students who tested for the first time first tested in 12th grade opted into EOS. in 12th grade were interested in Note: ACT tests taken before 11th grade were not included. more information from colleges and scholarship agencies through EOS.12 Enrollment Management Trends Report
  13. 13. Percent of EOS Students Selected by Time of First Testing and Colleges and scholarship agencies that are eligible can use ACT’s EOSACT Composite Score, 2011 to identify and select prospective 100 97! 98! 98! 99! students whose backgrounds and 86! academic achievement levels align 93! with the mix of desired characteristics 80! 88! 88! 80! of the students in their applicant pool. 60! 57! Among those students who opted intoPercent! 57! EOS, a student’s likelihood of being selected by a college or scholarship 40! agency differed by both the time of 31! first testing and the student’s ACT 20! Composite score. • Within all score ranges, a student 0! 1–15! 16–19! 20–23! 24–27! 28–32! 33–36! who first tested in 12th grade was ACT Composite Score Range! less likely than a student who first Grade 11! Grade 12! tested in 11th grade to be selected through EOS.Graph reads: 88% of the ACT-tested high school graduating class of 2011 who first tested in12th grade, opted into EOS, and had an ACT Composite score between 24 and 27 were • For students who first tested inselected at least once through EOS. 11th grade, the percentage whoNote: ACT tests taken before 11th grade were not included. were selected leveled off beginning in the score range of 20 to 23. • For students who first tested in 12th grade, the percentage whoAverage Number of Times EOS Students Were Selected by were selected increased similarlyTime of First Testing and ACT Composite Score, 2011 by ACT Composite score. 50! 42!Average Number of Selections! 40! The number of times that a student 34! was selected by a college or 30! scholarship agency through EOS also 24! differed by both the time of first testing and the student’s ACT Composite 20! 14! score. 10! 8! • Within all score ranges, students 5! 6! 6! 4! who first tested in 12th grade were 1! 1! 0.4! selected by fewer colleges and 0! 1–15! 16–19! 20–23! 24–27! 28–32! 33–36! scholarship agencies than students ACT Composite Score Range! who first tested in 11th grade. Grade 11! Grade 12! • The grade-level gap in the averageGraph reads: ACT-tested high school graduates from the class of 2011 who first tested in number of colleges and scholarship12th grade, opted into EOS, and had an ACT Composite score between 33 and 36 were agencies that selected studentsselected an average of 8 times through EOS. widened as the students’ ACTNote: ACT tests taken before 11th grade were not included. Composite score increased. Enrollment Management Trends Report 13
  14. 14. Score-Sending BehaviorStudents can send their test scores Number of College Choices at Time of First Testing byat no cost to up to 4 colleges or Family Income Level, 2011scholarship agencies when theyregister for the ACT. Many students do 100!not take advantage of this opportunityto get their information to the colleges 80!that they are considering. Of the high 62! 61!school graduating class of 2011, only 60! 57! 51! Percent!54% sent their test scores to at least 43!1 college at time of first testing. 38! 39! 49! 40!Score-sending behavior at time of firsttesting differed by the family income 20!level of the student.• A student’s likelihood of submitting 0! test scores to at least 1 college " $36K! $36K–$60K! $60K–$100K! $100K+! decreased as family income level Family Income Level! increased. At least 1! None!• Conversely, a student’s likelihood of Graph reads: 57% of the ACT-tested high school graduating class of 2011 whose family earned not submitting any test scores at between $60,000 and $100,000 sent their ACT scores to at least 1 college at time of first testing. the time of ACT registration Note: Based on 74% of the ACT-tested graduating class of 2011 who reported family income level when registering for the ACT. increased with family income level.A student’s score-sending behavior Number of College Choices at Time of First Testing byat time of first testing differed State Category, 2011substantially by the ACT and SATparticipation rates in the state. 100!• In “ACT” and “ACT+” states, more than 50% of graduates sent their 80! ACT scores to at least 1 college. 64! 60!• In contrast, fewer than 50% of 60! 55! 55! 54! Percent! 49! 51! graduates in “SAT” or “SAT+” states 45! 45! 46! 40! sent their ACT scores to at least 40! 36! 1 college. 20! 0! ACT+! ACT! ACT/SAT! SAT! SAT+! National! State Category! At least 1! None! Graph reads: 60% of the ACT-tested high school graduating class of 2011 from “ACT+” states sent their ACT scores to at least 1 college at time of first testing.14 Enrollment Management Trends Report
  15. 15. Enrollment by College PreferenceEnrollment by College Choice Number and Students can send their test scores to up to 4 colleges or scholarshipACT Composite Score, 2011 agencies in preferential order when 50! 45! they register for the ACT. This ranking 44! 41! of their college choices provides an 40! 36! 38! early indicator of students’ intentions and has been shown by ACT research 29! to be an important predictor of college 30!Percent! enrollment. 20! 16! 17! 18! 18! 16! • Regardless of ACT Composite 14! score, ACT-tested college enrollees 10! 11! 11! 11! 11! 10! 9! attended their 1st choice college at 8! 9! 8! 8! 8! 9! significantly higher rates than that for their 2nd, 3rd, and 4th choice 0! 1–15! 16–19! 20–23! 24–27! 28–32! 33–36! colleges. ACT Composite Score Range! • The rate at which students enrolled 1st Choice! 2nd Choice! 3rd Choice! 4th Choice! at their 1st choice college increased steadily between the ACT scoreGraph reads: 45% of ACT-tested college students with an ACT Composite score between 28 and32 enrolled at their 1st choice college. ranges of 1 to 15 and 28 to 32, andNote: Based on ACT-tested college students who sent scores to at least 1 college when registering then decreased for the score rangefor the ACT. For students who tested more than once, the college choice set from the last ACT test of 33 to 36. The rates at whichwas used. students enrolled at their 2nd, 3rd, and 4th choice colleges varied far less by ACT Composite score.Enrollment at Same College Type as Preference by When students register for the ACT, they can indicate the type of collegeACT Composite Score, 2011 that they prefer to attend. In general, 100! 96! 99! the students’ college type preference 90! 86! 84! is a good indicator of the type of 79! 78! 80! 74! 75! college that they eventually attend. 64! 65! 73! 64! • Regardless of whether the college 70! 60! 52! is public or private, students with aPercent! 63! 45! 60! 4-year college preference are more 53! 40! 35! likely to attend this college type as 43! their ACT Composite score 28! increases. 20! • Students with a 2-year college 0! preference are less likely to attend 1–15! 16–19! 20–23! 24–27! 28–32! 33–36! this college type as their ACT ACT Composite Score Range! Composite score increases. 4-Year Total! 4-Year Public! 4-Year Private! 2-Year Total!Graph reads: 99% of ACT-tested college students with an ACT Composite score between 33 and36 who preferred a 4-year college enrolled at a 4-year college.Note: Based on ACT-tested college students who provided college type preference whenregistering for the ACT. Enrollment rates not provided for ACT Composite score ranges wheresample size is less than 50. Enrollment Management Trends Report 15
  16. 16. Interest-Major FitCollege majors have different academic cultures. Selecting Interest-major fit clearly benefits both students and thea college major that is rewarding—that provides college they attend: students engaged in good-fit majors areopportunities to do preferred activities and express one’s more likely to stay in college, stay in their major, and finishvalues—is an example of interest-major fit. While many sooner.students gravitate toward majors that fit their interests, many Interest-major fit is derived from two data elements that aredo not. This has important implications. Evidence is collected during ACT registration: (1) the student’s ACTaccumulating that the fit between students’ interests and Interest Inventory scores and (2) the student’s intendedtheir college major is important in understanding and major from a list of 294 college majors.predicting student outcomes. Research at ACT and The interest-major fit score used here measures the strengthelsewhere suggests that if students’ measured interests are of the relationship between the student’s profile of ACTsimilar to the interests of people in their chosen college Interest Inventory scores and the profile of interests ofmajors, they will be more likely to: students in a given major. Interest profiles for majors are• remain in their major based on a national sample of undergraduate students with• persist in college a declared major and a GPA of at least 2.0. Major was• complete a college degree in a timely manner determined in the third year for students in 4-year colleges, and in the second year for students in 2-year colleges.There is a lot of variation by planned Interest-Major Fit for a Subset of Planned Majors, 2011major in the share of ACT-tested highschool graduates who selected amajor that is a good fit with their 100!personal interests. The chart showsthe level of interest-major fit for a 80!subset of college majors selected by 62!the graduating class of 2011. 60! Percent! 52!• Sixty-two percent of students who 44! 41! 40! 37! planned to major in accounting had 28! 32! 31! 32! 30! 26! 27! 26! personal interests that were a good 20! fit for this major, and only 12% had 20! 12! personal interests that were a poor fit for accounting. 0! Accounting! Music! Pharmacy! Special Philosophy!• In contrast, only 26% of students Education! Planned Major! who planned to major in philosophy had personal interests that were a Good Fit! Moderate Fit! Poor Fit! good fit for this major, whereas 44% Graph reads: 62% of the ACT-tested graduating class of 2011 with a planned accounting major and had personal interests that were a an interest-major fit score had good fit between their personal interests and the major environment. poor fit for philosophy. Note: Not all planned college majors are included in the graph. Based on 66% of the ACT-tested high school graduating class of 2011 for which the interest-major fit index could be calculated. For students who tested more than once, planned major from the last ACT test was used. Interest-major fit ranges from 0–99, with values of 80 and higher indicating good fit, values between 60 and 79 indicating moderate fit, and values less than 60 indicating poor fit.16 Enrollment Management Trends Report
  17. 17. Interest-Major Fit by ACT Score Range, 2011 A student’s likelihood of having a good fit between personal interests and 50! 47! planned major increased with ACT 45! 42! 42! Composite score. 38! 40! 36! • Slightly less than half of all students 32! 32! 32! 32! 31! 33! with a score between 33 and 36 30! selected a major that was wellPercent! 31! 30! 27! 27! aligned with their interests, 24! 20! 21! compared with only 27% of students with a score of 15 or 10! lower. • Conversely, 42% of students with a 0! score of 15 or lower had a poor 1–15! 16–19! 20–23! 24–27! 28–32! 33–36! ACT Composite Score Range! interest-major fit, whereas only 21% of students with a score between Good Fit! Moderate Fit! Poor Fit! 33 and 36 selected a major withGraph reads: 27% of the ACT-tested high school graduating class of 2011 with an ACT Composite poor fit.score between 24 and 27 and an interest-major fit score had poor fit between their personalinterests and the major environment.Note: Based on 66% of the ACT-tested high school graduating class of 2011 for which theinterest-major fit index could be calculated. For students who tested more than once, plannedmajor from the last ACT test was used. Interest-major fit ranges from 0–99, with values of 80 andhigher indicating good fit, values between 60 and 79 indicating moderate fit, and values less than60 indicating poor fit.Persistence in Major by ACT Score Range and Interest-Major Fit Evidence from a sample of ACT-tested college students illustrates the added value of interest-major fit in predicting 100! student persistence within their major. • Students with a good interest-major 80! 73! 68! fit persisted in their major at higher 63! 58! 60! 65! rates than students with moderate 60! 55! 58! and poor fit, with the largest Percent! 54! 56! 52! 53! 51! 55! difference at the upper ranges of 40! 48! 45! 45! 47! the ACT Composite score scale. • A student with an ACT Composite 20! score between 33 and 36 who had a poor fit between personal 0! interests and college major had the 1–15! 16–19! 20–23! 24–27! 28–32! 33–36! ACT Composite Score Range! same chance of persisting in the major as a student with an ACT Good Fit! Moderate Fit! Poor Fit! Composite score of 15 or lower with a good interest-major fit.Graph reads: 58% of ACT-tested college students with an ACT Composite score between 16 and19 and good fit with their entering college major persisted in the same college major family throughthe start of their third year of college.Note: Based on a sample of 62,494 ACT-tested students who entered college between 2000and 2006 and remained enrolled in the second (2-year students) or third (4-year students) year ofcollege. College major family represented by 2-digit CIP code. Interest-major fit ranges from 0–99,with values of 80 and higher indicating good fit, values between 60 and 79 indicating moderate fit,and values less than 60 indicating poor fit. Enrollment Management Trends Report 17
  18. 18. Predictors of SuccessACT continues to recommend the use High School GPA Distribution Among ACT-Tested High Schoolof multiple criteria when assessing the Graduates Who Reported Grades, 2011college readiness of students. Two ofthe more commonly used criteria for 25! 25!assessing academic readiness arehighlighted in this section of the report. 20!The distribution of high school GPAsamong the ACT-tested graduating 16! 15! 15! 14!class of 2011 has a sizableconcentration of students with GPAs Percent!at the upper end of the range and 10! 9! 8!relatively few students with GPAs inthe lower end of the range. 5! 5! 4! 4!• 41% have a GPA over 3.5• 55% have a GPA over 3.25 0! < 2.00! 2.00–2.24! 2.25–2.49! 2.50–2.74! 2.75–2.99! 3.00–3.24! 3.25–3.49! 3.50–3.74! 3.75+!• 30% have a GPA under 3.0 High School GPA Range!Given the skewed shape of thisdistribution, it is difficult to further Graph reads: 25% of the ACT-tested high school graduating class of 2011 who reported high school grades earned a GPA of 3.75 or higher.differentiate the achievement levels of Note: Based on 86% of the ACT-tested high school graduating class of 2011 who reported higha large number of students at the school grades in core subjects.upper end of the distribution. As such,ACT recommends that high schoolGPA not be the sole measure ofacademic achievement in makingadmissions, scholarship, and course ACT Composite Score Distribution Among ACT-Testedplacement decisions. High School Graduates Who Reported Grades, 2011The distribution of ACT Composite 25!scores among the graduating class of 21!2011 who reported high school GPA 20! 19!is more symmetrical, with a 18!concentration of students in themiddle of the score range and fewer 15! 14! Percent!students with scores in the upper and 12!lower ends of the range. 10! 8!Compared to the GPA distribution, it iseasier to differentiate the achievement 5! 4!levels of students at the upper end of 3!the ACT score distribution. While the 1!largest number of GPAs is in the range 0! 1–12! 13–15! 16–18! 19–21! 22–24! 25–27! 28–30! 31–33! 34–36!of 3.75 and higher, the largest number ACT Composite Score Range!of ACT scores is in the range of 19to 21. Graph reads: 14% of the ACT-tested high school graduating class of 2011 who reported high school grades earned an ACT Composite score between 25 and 27. Note: Based on 86% of the ACT-tested high school graduating class of 2011 who reported high school grades in core subjects.18 Enrollment Management Trends Report

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