Future Enrollment Planning Task Force


Formed collaboratively between the Provost and Faculty Senate chair in Fall 2019, the Future Enrollment Planning Task Force (FEPTF) was charged by the Provost to support the early thinking about GW’s five-year enrollment goals in context of the strategic planning and goals that were set prior to COVID-19. The Provost chaired the committee and continued to include this group through the pandemic into Summer 2020 in discussions about Fall 2020 applications and enrollment tactics.

The Provost committed to engage with this group in Fall 2020 as part of the Board Chair and President’s commitment to shared governance, with its purpose pivoting from strategic planning to considering recommendations for the composition of GW’s student populations in a post-pandemic environment. Consequently, at the request of the Faculty Senate, FEPTF was expanded in membership and reconvened in November 2020 to start developing target recommendations for the Fall 2021 new undergraduate class profile. The university will integrate the task force's efforts within the senate committees and operations.

The task force’s meetings since Fall 2020 have been chaired by Jay Goff, Vice-Provost for Enrollment and Student Success, and Provost Blake.



Goal: Enroll the best new student class possible given the current environmental factors.

Through the Future Enrollment Planning Task Force discussions, the following six objectives were created to provide a logic model and guide for the Fall 2021 new undergraduate class profile targets.

  1. Ensure a safe campus environment (avoid overcrowding to reduce additional health risks)
  2. Support a critical mass of students to create a lively and engaging community (staffing, dining halls, gathering spaces, etc.)
  3. Maintain or improve the academic profile and diversity levels to ensure a deep and insightful learning environment
  4. Establish an appropriate FY/transfer mix to better balance the academic program enrollments across the new student cohorts and ensure a fuller GW experience for all students
  5. Determine an appropriate percentage/number of waitlist students in FY Class (work to avoid lowering the academic profile)
  6. Ensure the new class targets do not disrupt upper-class students from having the traditional GW experience



In a message to the community on February 12, 2021, Provost Blake announced that the university would move forward with a set of recommendations, prioritizing academics, diversity, and meeting a larger portion of students’ financial need. The recommendations include:

  • Targeting a student class headcount of between 2,475 and 2,550 first-year students, in addition to a new undergraduate transfer student class of between 150 and 300;
  • Maintaining and improving the new student class in numerous areas, including the academic profile, underrepresented students, and better financial support for lower-income students;
  • Remaining cognizant of the mix of first year and transfer students, in order to better balance academic program enrollments and to ensure a rewarding student experience;
  • Anticipating a slightly lower headcount for new international students.


Meetings and Discussion Topics

November 2020

  • Nov. 20: Review of Fall 2020 enrollment data; pandemic campus response and restrictions; identified core benchmarks and requests for additional enrollment/market data
  • Nov. 25: Early Decision strategy; pandemic planning scenarios; guidelines, goals, and initial objectives for new student class profile and targets

December 2020

  • Dec. 4: Review of requested enrollment data and new FEPTF data repository box; Fall 2021 housing capacity projections; institutional and student service capacities, review of objectives
  • Dec. 11: Review of goal and objectives, housing capacity projections; Fall 2021 admissions update; review of initial target proposal
  • Dec. 18: Student success, retention, persistence, and graduation; rankings and reputation factors, housing capacity projections; approval of goal, objectives, and target proposal

January 2021

  • Jan. 4: Available housing capacity, re-review of targets
  • Jan. 8: Fall 2021 New Undergraduate Student Enrollment Targets – Target recommendations updated and submitted to Provost
  • Jan. 13: Setting discussion agenda for Fall 2026 planning; identifying benchmarking institutions; task force update presented to Faculty Senate


Task Force Membership

M. Brian Blake, Provost (co-chair)

Jay Goff, Vice Provost for Enrollment and Student Success (co-chair)

Sarah Baldassaro, Interim Vice President, Communications and Marketing

Tyson Brown, Interim Associate Dean, Undergraduate Admissions

Scott Burnotes, Vice President, Safety and Facilities

Jamie Cohen-Cole, Associate Professor of American Studies, CCAS

Dylan Conger, Professor of Public Policy and Public Administration, CCAS

Joseph Cordes, Professor of Economics, Public Policy, and Public Administration & International Affairs, ESIA

Ilana Feldman, Interim Dean, ESIA

Lynn Goldman, Dean, GWSPH

David Iselin, Director of Operations, Enrollment and Student Success

Pamela Jeffries, Dean, SON

John Lach, Dean, SEAS

Derek Lo, Undergraduate Student

Anuj Mehrotra, Dean, GWSB

Jennifer Mitchell, Director of Administration, Office of the Provost

Marie Price, Professor of Geography and International Affairs, CCAS

David Rain, Associate Professor of Geography, CCAS

Pradeep Rau, Professor of Marketing and International Business, GWSB

Rachel Riedner, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies, CCAS

Daniel Ullman, Professor of Mathematics, CCAS

Paul Wahlbeck, Dean, CCAS

Seth Weinshel, Assistant Dean for Housing and Financial Services

Philip Wirtz, Professor of Decision Sciences and Psychology, GWSB

Jason Zara, Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Associate Chair for Academic Affairs for the Department of Biomedical Engineering, SEAS, and Faculty Director of Undergraduate Recruiting