Enrollment in the news

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WSU offering assistance to students affected by abrupt closure of Argosy University

Wayne State University is offering assistance to students affected by the abrupt closure of California-based Argosy University. Argosy University had more than a dozen campuses in 11 states and a large community of online students across the country, including those in Michigan. Wayne State officials say affected students are invited to schedule appointments with financial aid counselors to discuss issues related to financial aid and credit transfers. If a student wants to apply, Wayne State will waive the application fee. “We have great empathy for these students,” said Dawn Medley, associate vice president of enrollment management. 
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Wayne State to roll out fast-track librarian certificate amid shortage, student demand

Wayne State University is set to offer a new experimental school library certificate to address student demand and a general shortage of certified school librarians in the state. The university plans to offer a 15-credit program through its School of Information Sciences, said Matt Fredericks, academic services officer for the school. The course load is designed to equip students with the necessary media specialist skills without requiring the typical 36-credit master's program.
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Colleges delay tuition, offer aid as shutdown hits students

A growing number of colleges and universities are postponing tuition payments, waiving late fees and providing emergency grants to students whose finances have been tied up by the longest government shutdown in history. Most of the offers come from schools along the East Coast and other areas with heavy numbers of federal employees, including Denver and Detroit. “We wanted to make sure students knew early on we were right there beside them,” said Dawn Medley, associate vice president of enrollment at the public school of 27,000 students. “Maybe they need rent money or money for transportation. We can help with that.” 
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Here’s how Wayne State nearly doubled its graduation rate in six years

Federal data show that Wayne State University has the fastest-improving graduation rate in the nation among public universities with more than 10,000 students. In fact, the percentage of students who earned a degree within six years of enrolling at Wayne State nearly doubled from 2011 to 2017, jumping from 26 percent to 47 percent, according to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. While Wayne State’s graduation rate increased by 21 percentage points in six years, national graduation rates have increased only two percentage points over the last decade. Wayne State’s emphasis on boosting graduation rates began in earnest in 2011, when it launched a Student Retention Initiative. Over the next five years, the university invested more than $10 million in student success projects. “The core of the initiative was an overhaul in academic advising, which has led to proactive, individualized advising driven by state-of-the art technology and comprehensive professional development,” says Monica Brockmeyer, senior associate provost for student success. 
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How the shutdown affects tuition payments and loans

Normally, colleges do not allow students to attend classes if they miss a tuition payment, and payment plans carry fees. But a handful of colleges - including Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, the Nevada System of Higher Education Institutions and Wayne State University in Michigan - have publicly told students they can stay in college and delay tuition payments without paying penalties. Dawn Medley, associate vice president of enrollment management at Wayne State University, said she fears that if students are not granted tuition relief, they will drop out. That is why Wayne State, in Detroit, has delayed tuition payments for government workers with financial needs, put them on payment plans, provided emergency loans and waived fees. There are families that can’t just cough up $6,000 when they do not know when the paycheck will arrive, said Medley.
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Michigan feeling the pinch of federal shutdown

Wayne State University has begun offering financial assistance to students who have been impacted by the partial government shutdown. "It's going to be determined on a case by case basis, depending on the situation," Matt Lockwood, director of communications for Wayne State, told The News. "It could look like waiving a late fee, emergency loans or setting up student on a payment plan to allow them to continue on with their classes and not interrupt their studies." Lockwood said this is the first time Wayne State has made such an offer to his knowledge.  "This has drug on. It's coming up on three weeks, fairly long," he said ."We were doing so many other things to ensure our students education is not interrupted. One of faculty members actually bought this up that so many of our students work and also rely on parents that any portion of their financial income stream being interrupted would impact their ability to stay in school. We've already received some information from students that have been interested in finding out if they qualify.” 
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Groups, colleges to help former students finish their studies

Dawn Medley is a student affairs official at Wayne State University, a public four-year institution in Detroit, Michigan. She says the Lumina Foundation reached out to the school about setting an example for how schools could help improve student graduation rates earlier this year. Together, they began examining student data and found that Wayne State had 13,000 students drop out of college without earning a degree. So, Wayne State launched a program called “Warrior Way Back.” 
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Wayne State recognized for improving student retention and graduation rates

Wayne State University is being recognized for strides made in improving its student retention and graduation rates. The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities named Wayne State University the winner of its 2018 Project Degree Completion Award. “We’re an institution that has a lot of support resources for students,” said Dawn Medley, Wayne State’s associate vice president of enrollment management. “We restructured our financial aid programs so over one-third of our incoming freshman class had zero out-of-pocket expense. I think students are responding to these changes, because our freshman class grew 15 percent over last year, which is huge. It’s our largest freshman cohort in the institution’s history.”
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WSUniversity nationally awarded for improvement in graduation rates

“Ensuring more students have access to college and are fully supported on their path to graduation has always been at the core of Wayne State’s mission,” said Wayne State President M. Roy Wilson. “Wayne State has made great strides by working hard to identify and support the differing needs of all students. We know that if our students thrive, then the university — and higher education — will, too.”
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Powerful partnerships fuel Detroit’s rebirth

To realize its dream of returning to its roots as an economic powerhouse, Detroit needs a massive boost in local talent. Using records from the past 15 years housed at the National Student Clearinghouse, Wayne State University and Macomb Community College have already identified nearly 53,000 “comebackers” for whom the schools have contacts. The institutions are reaching out on social media and working with business and community groups. They’ve placed stories in newspapers and on television, and they plan to post ads on buses. This academic year, Wayne State is offering comebackers perhaps its biggest carrot yet — a debt-forgiveness program called Warrior Way Back. The program waives past-due balances of up to $1,500 for all students seeking to complete their degrees. For full-time students, the first $500 will be waived the first semester, the second $500 the next semester, and so on. The ultimate goal is to eliminate students’ outstanding debt as they make academic progress. “We have been holding transcripts hostage,” says Dawn Medley, Wayne State’s associate vice president for enrollment management, “because it’s the only leverage we have.”
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Once embarrassed by its graduation numbers, Wayne State becomes a model

Wayne State has taken its lumps over the years. Less than a decade ago, about one in four students earned a degree within six years. Fewer than one in 10 black students who enrolled at the Detroit campus left with a four-year degree within that time. For black men, the rate was one in 14. Since then, the chances of Wayne State University students leaving the Detroit campus with a degree has almost doubled to 45 percent. And the African-American graduation rate has tripled to 26 percent. And while still trailing Michigan’s other public universities in graduation rate, Wayne State is garnering national attention for its turnaround, raising hopes that the lessons learned on the urban campus can be applied to improve grad rates of minorities, low-income and first-generation college students across the state. “If students suffer, the nation suffers,” said Monica Brockmeyer, WSU’s  senior associate provost for student success.
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Universities team up on completion

Eight years ago, Wayne State University was widely criticized after a report from the Education Trust identified its relatively low graduation rates and a deep achievement gap between black and white students at the university. M. Roy Wilson became Wayne State’s president in 2013. He said improving completion rates has been the university’s top priority ever since. “We went to work immediately,” said Wilson. “We decided we were going to take the approach of not making excuses.”
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Coaxing dropouts to return and earn degrees

This fall the university is extending a new debt-forgiveness program, currently offered to enrolled students, to students who dropped out. The program, known as Warrior Way Back, allows students who owe the university less than $1,500 to register for classes and have their debt gradually erased. Students can enroll part-time, and if they are working toward completing their degrees, making satisfactory academic progress and are at least two years removed from when they initially dropped out, Wayne State will forgive $500 for each completed semester. “A lot of these students left because they owed that money,” said Dawn Medley, associate vice president for enrollment management at Wayne State.
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An Hour with ... Dr. M. Roy Wilson

Wayne State University has always been a cornerstone of Detroit’s giving spirit, and since appointing Dr. M. Roy Wilson as president in 2013, the university has revved up its efforts to rehabilitate the urban community that surrounds it. Wilson brings years of experience in both university and health care administration. In 2016, President Wilson introduced Wayne Med-Direct, a program that guarantees tuition-free, direct admission to Wayne State School of Medicine to 10 talented high school students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds across the city.  
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The summer melt: Why some college-bound kids don’t go

Think your job’s done when your child gets accepted to college? Think again. College plans can get the kibosh between acceptance and attendance. It’s called “summer melt,” and it thwarts some students’ post-secondary plans. It can happen for a variety of reasons, too. Sometimes focus shifts. Other times things can crop up that complicate matters. Wayne State offers a chance to participate, free of charge, in a program called APEX Scholars, short for Academic Pathways to Excellence. 
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Conversations with Wayne State University – 9/19

Mildred Gaddis sits down with Darrell Dawsey, Director of Community Communications for Wayne State University, Kenya Swanson, Coordinator of the Warrior Vision & Impact Program and Michelle Hunt Bruner, Director of the Academic Success Center at Wayne State. The four discuss the Warrior Vision & Impact Program, which is designed to help first-year students through a series of early support workshops that address some of the typical challenges students face during their transition to college.