ERIC Number: ED161383
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-May
Reference Count: 0
Predicting Next Year's Resources--Short-Term Enrollment Forecasting for Accurate Budget Planning. AIR Forum Paper 1978.
Salley, Charles D.
Accurate enrollment forecasts are a prerequisite for reliable budget projections. This is because tuition payments make up a significant portion of a university's revenue, and anticipated revenue is the immediate constraint on current operating expenditures. Accurate forecasts are even more critical to revenue projections when a university's revenue allocations are tied by a state funding formula to credit-hour enrollment. Unfortunately, budget forecasters often extrapolate the latest enrollment change indefinitely into the future. Such judgment can mistake short-term seasonal and cyclical variations for a change in the long-term growth trend. The risk of such a mistake is especially high when the growth trend is moderate, as in the 1970's, because short-term variations are more visible than they are during periods of rapid growth, as in the 1960's. Under present conditions, if a temporary increase in enrollment one year is extrapolated as a trend change to the following year, underbudgeted years will alternate with overbudgeted years. This means year-end travel and procurement curtailments. The study suggests that this type of error can be avoided by using traditional techniques of time series analysis to identify fairly stable short-term enrollment patterns. Forecasters can then view enrollment fluctuations as a composite of short-term variations and the long-term trend variation. The techniques are demonstrated as applied at a large urban public university. (Author)
Descriptors: Budgeting, Case Studies, College Administration, College Planning, Credits, Educational Economics, Educational Finance, Enrollment Influences, Enrollment Projections, Enrollment Trends, Evaluation Methods, Higher Education, Institutional Research, Measurement Techniques, Prediction, Predictor Variables, Research Projects, State Aid, State Universities, Trend Analysis, Urban Universities
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Georgia State Univ., Atlanta. Office of Institutional Planning.
Note: Paper presented at the annual Association for Institutional Research Forum (18th, Houston, Texas, May 21-25, 1978)