Positioning the University for the Future

BOLDLY ELON will sharply define the university’s value, market position and distinction nationally and internationally by:

  • Expanding Elon’s admissions footprint
  • Significantly increasing need- and merit-based scholarships
  • Increasing graduation and retention rates
  • Adding academic programs and securing Elon’s position as the global leader in engaged learning.

Objectives and Progress

Last updated: December 2022


  • Expand and diversify admissions recruitment, attracting students from a wider range of racial, ethnic, socioeconomic and religious backgrounds and developing pathways for enrollment from non-traditional students.
  • Double the financial aid budget, increasing support for Fellows programs and advancing toward 400 Odyssey scholars.
  • More than double the endowment to $625 million with 80 percent committed to scholarships.
  • Complete the $250 million comprehensive Elon LEADS Campaign.
  • Reach graduation rates of 85 percent in four years and 90 percent in six years.
  • Advance the Student Professional Development Center as the national leader in employment and graduate school placement.
  • Continue to expand alumni engagement and philanthropy, and grow alumni annual giving to 35 percent, matching generous parent and grandparent participation.

Progress Report

  • The Office of Admissions and the Division of Inclusive Excellence are enhancing recruitment efforts for underrepresented and international students, including the following:
    • Updated the Black Advance and ¡Viva Elon! Hispanic/Latinx recruitment initiatives as part of Black and Hispanic student recruitment plans.
    • In Spring 2021, donors supported Elon in reaching the goal of creating 200 Odyssey Scholarships, which assist outstanding students with high financial need, including first-generation college students.
    • The Elon Black Alumni Network has set a goal to triple the endowment of the Black Alumni Scholarship fund and expand internship support by at least $1 million by 2025.
    • Elon is signing agreements with international recruitment agents University Study and Global Education Institute, hiring a new assistant director of international recruitment and finalizing the international recruitment strategic plan.
  • The Office of Admissions and Financial Aid partnered with Maguire Associates for a comprehensive analysis of Elon’s financial aid methodology.
  • An assistant director of regional admissions for the Midwest, based in Chicago, was hired in Spring 2022.
  • Elon Engagement scholarships were increased to $5,000 (from $4,500), Presidential scholarships to $7,500 (from $6,000), and Fellows scholarships to $7,500 (from $5,500) for all Fellows programs other than Honors. Elon has also created an Innovation Scholars program and Phoenix Band Scholarships with awards of $5,000/annually.
  • The Elon LEADS campaign is on track to exceed its goal of $250 million by the end of 2022.
  • A student retention working group has been working since Spring 2021, collecting, reviewing and analyzing institutional data that may impact retention. The group worked through Summer and Fall 2021 to develop and test models to identify factors associated with retention and non-retention, thus providing the opportunity for early intervention and support. After gathering feedback from across campus, the working group is developing plans for providing targeted and proactive outreach and support to students, including the possibility of hiring student success coaches.
  • Alumni annual giving participation at Elon peaked at 26 percent in 2018-19 and slipped to 19-21 percent during the pandemic years. A new alumni strategic plan being developed during the 2021-22 fiscal year imagines new and deepened engagement opportunities for alumni, including regional programs and expansion of alumni chapters.