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Graduate Admissions, Retention and Funding. Fall 2002. Philip Oxhorn Real del Degan Denis Marchand Sebastien Dube. Claude Lalande Larry Verkade Sandra Popote. Acknowledgements. McGill’s Objectives. High quality students High graduation rates Timely completion rates

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Graduate Admissions, Retention and Funding

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Philip Oxhorn

Real del Degan

Denis Marchand

Sebastien Dube

Claude Lalande

Larry Verkade

Sandra Popote

mcgill s objectives
McGill’s Objectives
  • High quality students
  • High graduation rates
  • Timely completion rates
  • Timely decisions concerning withdrawal
canadian government s objectives
Canadian Government’s Objectives
  • Improved Performance in Research and Development
  • Need for more Highly Qualified Personnel
  • 80,000 HQP needed by 2011
  • 40,000 more than Canadian universities presently graduate
some possible enrollment management and funding inter relationships
Some Possible Enrollment Management and Funding Inter-relationships
  • The quality of who we admit is affected by funding
  • The numbers we can take is affected by the time it takes to graduate
  • The time it takes to graduate is influenced by the amount of funding
admissions by geographic area
Admissions by Geographic Area
  • Quebec
  • Canada
  • US
  • Overseas
doctoral level all faculties



Doctoral Level – All Faculties


Rest of Canada

geographic source of newly admitted and registered graduate students 1999 2000 2001

Geographic Source of Newly Admitted and Registered Graduate Students1999/2000/2001




Masters Level – All Faculties

Rest of Canada

  • Applications
  • Offers
  • Registrations
  • GPA
  • Offers/Applications=Selectivity
  • Offers/Registrations=Yield
inter relationship of selectivity and yield three cases
Inter-relationship of selectivity and yield: Three cases
  • Ideal: Dept A: Selectivity =12%, Yield=90%
  • Problems with registering well selected students:

Dept B: Selectivity =20%, Yield=50%

  • Small applicant pool and difficulty registering students

Dept C: Selectivity=75%, Yield=50%

issues raised by faculty gpa data
Issues Raised by Faculty GPA data
  • The GPAs of students offered admission is not much different that students who end up coming to McGill
  • The yield rates are not significantly different in departments/faculties who guarantee funding and those that do not
2002 changes
2002 changes
  • Electronic applications have increased number of applications dramatically
  • This is in part due to the elimination of pre-screening
  • There is a sizeable rise in number of applications from the US with an equally large rise in offers to that group
g 10 project on retention
G 10 Project on Retention
  • The Principals of G10 universities commissioned the following retention study.
  • It is a cohort study based on the 1992 cohort.
  • NB: Master’s students are only those who did not pursue degrees in the same universities
retention 3 factors to consider
Retention: 3 Factors to Consider
  • Graduate Rates
  • Time to Completion (TTC)
  • Time to Withdrawal
requests for extensions of time limitations at mcgill
Requests for extensions of Time Limitations at McGill
  • 2002= 388 PhDs and Master’s requested an extension to normal time limitations (PhD7 and Master’s 3)
  • This is the smallest number to make this request in the last 3 years.
time to drop out
Time to Drop Out
  • The following graphs show that McGill’s students drop out less in early years and more in later years than the average in G10 universities.
percent of total dropouts humanities masters

McGill Total %

University X Total %

Average % (-McGill)

Percent of Total Dropouts - HumanitiesMasters
percent of total dropouts physical applied sciences masters

McGill Total %

University X Total %

Average % (-McGill)

Percent of Total Dropouts – Physical & Applied SciencesMasters
percent of total dropouts physical applied sciences doctoral

McGill Total %

University X Total %

Average % (-McGill)

Percent of Total Dropouts – Physical & Applied Sciences Doctoral
improvement needed
Improvement needed
  • McGill must improve graduation rates, time to completion and time to withdrawal in most disciplines.
  • Appropriate advising is needed.
  • Mechanisms for annual progress tracking are needed in all units.
weaknesses in doctoral funding data
Weaknesses in Doctoral Funding Data
  • These data are not fully accurate. Due to difficulties in getting students and departments to submit accurate accounts of each individual the data are based on central sources.
  • The central sources do not capture all students, especially those paid on casual payroll, those from international fellowships and faculty administered fellowships
doctoral data continued
Doctoral data continued
  • However, the relative amounts of funding across faculties gives a reasonable indicator of comparative amounts of funding.
  • Continued work to improve these data is underway.
doctoral funding
Doctoral Funding
  • Current Levels of Funding
  • Average Amount of Funding for PhDs
  • Amount Needed to Guarantee Funding

(SSH=$15,000 ENMS=18,000)

  • Sources of Funding: McGill and UofT
  • Guaranteed Funding and Yield
limitations in science funding data
Limitations in Science Funding Data
  • Since the Faculty of Science funds all students the less that total accuracy of the data is apparent.
  • Further investigation is underway.
  • These are based on funding all doctoral students at:

SSH=$15,000 and


  • As well as providing the equivalent of a differential fee waiver to all international students not receiving one at present
another happier possibility
11.4M-3M (missing intntl fellowships) =

8.4M-1M (missing casual RA $) =

7.4M-4M (capital campaign) =

3.4M-1M (projected additional federal fellowships)

2.4M needed/ year (approx. 0.7% of McGill operating budget)

Another happier possibility
sources of funding


Grad Asst



McGill Fellowships

Tomlinsons:recruit, 3yrs

McGill Majors:in progress, some 2yrs

MGSFs: $5000 to departments

Sources of Funding
ratio of students funded by councils meq and mgsfs
Les FONDS=1/8



MGSF =50% to SSH

DFWs = 10% of international students=120

Ratio of Students Funded by Councils, MEQ and MGSFs

Comparisons are for Faculties of Arts and Science soaonly

  • U of T data are for Master’s and PhDs. 1999-2000 data are from before they instituted guaranteed funding. 2001-2002 are from after their new policy was in place.
  • McGill data are for PhD 1-6
university of toronto graduate student funding master s and phd 1999 2000
University of Toronto Graduate Student Funding Master’s and PhD1999-2000



Masters Enrolment (1-2):452

PhD Enrolment (1-4):455

Average $ per student:$17,230

Masters Enrolment (1-2):535

PhD Enrolment (1-4):646

Average $ per student: $12,610

u of t proposed funding model master s and phd 2001 2002
U of T Proposed Funding Model Master’s and PhD2001-2002



Average $ per student:$13,558

Average $ per student:$18,424

mcgill phd only funding 2001 2002



McGill PhD Only Funding 2001-2002

PhD Enrolment (1-5): 320

Average $ per student:$8,568

PhD Enrolment (1-5): 307

Average $ per student:$14,269

additional money from the operating budget
Additional Money from the Operating Budget ?
  • At present:
    • $700K to McGill Graduate Student fellowships MGSFs-$5000each
    • $3.6M to TAs ($1M to PhDs)
additional money from capital campaign
Additional Money from Capital Campaign?

$80 million budgeted=$4M additional fellowships

Will we raise what we hope to?

Not accessible for a number of years, therefore would require “ramping up” funding from McGill

additional money from the research councils
Additional Money from the Research Councils ?
  • When? Promises are for next year.
  • How much? Promises are for 2x as much (=$1M for doctoral students at McGill at present rate of funding).
noteworthy funding cases
Noteworthy Funding Cases
  • Philosophy Department: Small numbers, hi quality students, guaranteed funding
  • French Department: Striking increase in external fellowships
  • Psychology Department: Guaranteed Funding Mechanism based on Probabilities
  • Chemistry and Anthropology Departments: Funded students reluctant to TA
mcgill model of funding

McGill Model of Funding?

What can we afford?

What do we need?

What do we want?

relationship of mcgill departments guaranteeing funding to yields

Relationship of McGill Departments Guaranteeing Funding to Yields ?

No significant relationship

This might be different if like departments were compared

student s who decline admissions report

Student’s Who Decline Admissions report

That they do not come because of better funding elsewhere

(See following example)

i am not coming to dept x because of better funding at

Western 2x







Toronto 4x

Wayne State


Wilfred Laurier

York 3x

Trinity College

I am not coming to Dept X because of better funding at
guaranteed funding issues
What levels of funding?

Levels set across university by faculties or departments?

Master’s vs PhD?

Number of years of funding

With/out specified enrollment levels

With/out permitted personal funding

Contingency arrangements?

Guaranteed Funding Issues
mcgill adjustments to internal fellowships
McGill Adjustments to Internal Fellowships
  • Should McGill majors be converted to MGSFs to be distributed to departments for use in recruitment or in-progress
  • MGSF Formula: accessibility of funding factor, # of fellowship holders, # of international students
    • ? Factor to account for no TA
    • A different merit factor
urgent need for student funding software

Urgent Need for Student Funding Software

Accurate data cannot be collected from the depts., students and central sources at present

questions that remain
Questions that Remain
  • Does higher funding increase quality of admissions
  • Does higher funding lead to better time to completion?
  • Does higher funding lead to better retention?
  • What are the optimal years to fund?