Relationship to EnrollmentBack to Table of Contents | Back to Findings
- Both public and private universities have an extremely strong correlation between graduate enrollment and news volume.
Larger institutions might be expected to garner greater press coverage simply by virtue of their ability to engage in a wider cross-section of activities. Schools with larger graduation populations in particular are likely to have larger research programs and attract higher-level faculty than those primarily focused on undergraduate education. Historical enrollment numbers are not available for the entire time span and it would be difficult with aggregate enrollment data to ascertain the total number of unique students passing through an institution over this period. Instead, IPEDS FY2007 enrollment data is used to measure the institution's most recent enrollment size. This approach has several shortcomings in that institutions which have added additional campuses or otherwise experienced significant growth during this period would have an artificially inflated enrollment size when comparing against its historical news volume, but it offers a viable measure of current size for comparison.
Both public and private institutions exhibit high correlations between student population and news volume, especially graduate enrollment. Public institutions have r=0.59 for total enrollment, r=0.55 for undergraduate and r=0.65 for graduate students. Front page volume exhibits similar correlations of r=0.62 total, r=0.59 undergradate, and r=0.66 graduate. Private institutions have r=0.53 total, r=0.22 undergraduate, and r=0.71 graduate for all news coverage and r=0.46 total, r=0.72 graduate for front page coverage.
Both institutional types show a significant relationship between graduate enrollment and New York Times coverage. A total of 19% of all students enrolled in public research universities in 2007 were graduate students, while 37% of those in private institutions were at the graduate level. This may suggest that even though private research universities as a whole have higher graduate student populations than their public counterparts, they may exhibit a stronger stratification in their graduate programs between instruction-oriented programs and research-oriented ones that would attract national-stature faculty.