Expanding Recruitment

With student success funds, our goal for this project was to ensure all previously identified prospective Local Control Funding Formula Plus (LCFF+) high school students knew that UC Santa Cruz welcomed their applications and provided financial resources to help them achieve their goals. By using two new direct mail campaigns (one through Admissions and one through Financial Aid), we also wanted families to know we recognize the academic achievement of their student.

By launching new prospective student emails and direct mail campaigns, we intended to maximize opportunities to reach students and families earlier in the admissions process to build stronger connections to campus with the goal of influencing their decision to enroll at UC Santa Cruz. Through financial aid and scholarship workshops at area high schools, we sought to enhance financial aid literacy and ease the application process.

The Admissions Office sent a personalized letter and California selection guide to approximately 18,000 prospective students from California LCFF+ high schools in late October, 2017.

With these funds, the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office, through temporary staff and students hires, was able to expand their capacity to more effectively reach out to LCFF+ applicants and admits. The initial contact was through a new direct mail piece that reached 18,267 LCFF+ prospective high school students in January/February and provided important financial aid and scholarship information. Emails were sent with step by step detail and links to apply for the FAFSA, for example.  A second Financial Aid mailing was sent in mid-March to admitted students who had completed the FAFSA. This was followed by targeted in-person financial aid and scholarship workshops conducted in 18 schools where the staff worked with approximately 650 students.

Workshops were held prior to the SIR deadline in three counties: Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Santa Clara. These efforts complemented the regional outreach and recruitment efforts by the UC Santa Cruz Educational Partnership Center, which also received a student success award. Through spring term, the Financial Aid Office continued outreach in the San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Rosa, Sacramento, Long Beach, and Los Angeles areas. 

Efforts initiated with the student success funds contributed to a  6.5% increase in applications. The yield increased from 18.3% in 2016 to 19.8% in 2017, which resulted in 11.8% of the total California students who accepted their offer of admission coming from an LCFF+ school compared to 11.1% in 2016, for a 6% increase (11.8%/11.1%).  

Collaborators: Jennifer Wright, Admissions; Patrick Register, Financial Aid and Scholarships Office; Maria Rocha-Ruiz, Educational Partnership Center


Lead Contact Name: Michelle Whittingham
Lead Contact Email: michelle@ucsc.edu
Theme: Easing the Transition to College