Graduate College, Bowling Green State University

Bowling Green State University

Graduate student enrollment climbs 15 percent

The Graduate College at Bowling Green State University is well-known for preparing graduate students for real-world challenges within a vibrant research-based environment. However, after major personnel transitions and significant cuts to scholarship, waiver, and stipend budgets, the college found itself in need of a make-over. Under the leadership of a new VP for enrollment management, Bowling Green’s executives sought to address the organizational structure of the department and reorient the portfolio of course offerings to create more revenue generating programs.

To accomplish its goals, the university chose to partner with Ruffalo Noel Levitz for enrollment management consultative services. The partnership began with an in-depth analysis of various graduate programs in terms of discount rate, past enrollment funnel data, and current university goals. From that study, 15 academic programs were identified for priority attention. With clear enrollment goals and metrics laid out for each of these programs, two questions remained – how was this going to get done and who was going to do it? With the help of Ruffalo Noel Levitz, an effective organizational structure was created and a successful strategy was implemented.


The university’s partnership with Ruffalo Noel Levitz yielded these results in fall 2015:

  • 14.7 percent gain in new graduate students, an increase of 120 students, from 816 to 936.
  • The 14.7 percent increase included a 15.5 percent gain in master’s students (100 students) in the university’s 52 graduate programs.


"We are a much stronger graduate college today and that is due largely to our consultant’s input. Our partnership with Ruffalo Noel Levitz helped us know how to attack enrollment effectively. ”

Michael Ogawa, Ph.D.
Vice President for Research and Economic Development and Dean of the Graduate College

"What we have done with our grad programs, I never dreamed we would be able to do. We’re very decentralized, so it helped to have someone from the outside say, ‘you need to understand your competition, and you really need to keep up.’”

Mary Ellen Mazey, Ph.D.

Case study used with the permission of Bowling Green State University.

©1998-2018 Ruffalo Noel Levitz, LLC. All Rights Reserved.