Dollar for Dollar, an SUU Education seems Hard to Beat

Published: May 29, 2009 | Read Time: 3 minutes

The facts don’t lie, and according to the just released “Facts at a Glance” brochure created by the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE), Southern Utah University is at the top of its game in terms of both quality and quantity. 

Among the statistics released in the report, is information concerning enrollment growth, an area of system-wide institutional measure that has seen SUU in the lead for several years. In fact, an accounting of enrollment growth throughout the system for the past five years places SUU more than 15 percent above its closest counterpart in FTE (full time equivalent) enrollment figures, with a record 19.8 percent in FTE enrollment growth over the past five years. 

SUU leads the system in terms of increasing headcount as well, with a 24.3 percent five-year change. 

Even more significant, however, are statistics concerning each institution’s ability to bring students through to graduation, as well as information about institutional cost-efficiency. SUU leads the report in both these areas, offering proof that SUU does not sacrifice quality for quantity. 

According to the report, the number of degrees SUU has awarded each year has increased by 34.8 percent over the past five years - proof that the SUU experience is well-attuned to current educational trends and student interests. Indeed, the University’s focus remains on retaining students by providing a personalized education that allows each student to find his or her best path toward graduation and future success. 

And while the relevance of an SUU degree seems to be growing, in terms of student retention and degree completion, so too does the University’s ability to provide a high quality education in a cost-efficient manner. 

According to the report, SUU has seen the second lowest expenditure increase in the USHE over the past five years. With just a 29.3 percent increase in the University’s full cost of instruction per FTE, SUU has managed to strategically tailor its programming and growth in a cost-effective manner that clearly has not sacrificed the quality of it education. 

This speaks highly of the University’s strategic efficiency, considering the other institutions that recorded the highest enrollment growth all saw instructional expense increases between 42 and 79 percent. 

According to President Michael Benson, these statistics are indicative of a bright and sustainable future for SUU. 

He states, “I am very proud that SUU’s student body has grown so much over the past five years, and believe this speaks to the positive experience more and more students are having as members of our campus community. However, I am even more proud of SUU’s performance in two very important quality indicators: We have more students persisting towards a degree and graduating, and we are helping them get there in a cost effective manner. Such fiscal responsibility speaks well for our ability to sustain the high value of an SUU education in these tough economic times.” 

Indeed, in system that has seen sizeable budget cuts, it would seem the SUU model is one to note. 

The USHE “Facts at a Glance” brochure is created annually by the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education. Data for the brochure is selected from the larger “USHE Data Book.”

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