Overall Ombuds Office Statistics: 2005–16
- By Time
- By Department
What is an "issue" ?
An issue is a description of a problem or concern that a student has come to the Ombuds Office with.
It is used as tag for a student's particular situation. A student's overall problem often was tagged with more than one issue.
Issues – listed individually
Student-Faculty conflicts are, historically, the most numerous issue to be dealt with through the Ombuds Office. But it peaked in 2010–11 at 22% of all issues.
Since 2011–12, the amount has remained nearly constant yet its portion of overall issues has decreased substantially — down to only 6% in 2013–14. 2014–15 saw the least amount.
Grade Disputes see a similar trend. The amount remains steady over more recent years, and its portion of all issues decreases. 2014‐15 again sees the least amount.
In recent years, there has been a substantial increase in issues related to Student Accounting, Financial Aid, and Tuition Reimbursement. Student Accounting related issues have doubled every year from 2011–2014. In 2014–15, the percent of Student Accounting related issues decreased to 13% while Financial Aid issues increased by 5 points to 11%.
Issues – grouped and categorized
There are roughly 120 unique issue-tags. Here they are grouped into broad categories and subcategories for practicality.
Who comes to the Ombuds Office?
The Ombuds Office has seen about 54% female students, 45% male students. 1% of visitors' gender were not recorded.
Our visitors correspond to the general student population at Rutgers, being 53% female, 47% male in 2014.
The Ombuds Office has seen roughly 82% undergraduates, 12% graduate students. 3% of visitors' affiliation were not recorded.
Combined alumni, former students who did not graduate from Rutgers, incoming students, and employees of Rutgers total only 3% of visitors.
Our visitors' student classification is more skewed towards undergraduates compared to the university's general student population, being 71% undergraduates and 28% graduates in 2015.
87% of visitors to the Ombuds Office were affiliated with schools located at Rutgers–New Brunswick.
Within Rutgers–New Brunswick, about 53% were affiliated with the School of Arts and Sciences (SAS). Overall, nearly half of all visitors were from SAS or its predecessor liberal arts schools.
5% of visitors' affiliations were not recorded
State of Residence
States of residence come from a mailing address that visitors give to our office. These may be different from the home address Rutgers has on file for the student.
Only 7% of visitors to the Ombuds Office are from outside of New Jersey. Universitywide, as of 2014, 14% of all students are from outside the state.
20% of visitors' home address were not recorded.
New Jersey Zip Code
Zipcodes come from a mailing or home address that visitors give to our office. These may be different from the home address Rutgers has on file for the student.
The top four zipcodes are local to Rutgers in New Brunswick/Piscataway. This most likely reflects "commuter" students who take residence off-campus but close to the university.
Freehold, Englishtown, and North Brunswick are the most common non-local zipcodes of visitors to the Ombuds Office.
20% of visitors' zipcode were not recorded.
2005–06 to 2015–16 academic years stats by time
New issues – by academic year
Prior to academic year 2008–09, issues that were quickly handed to other departments were included in the data resulting in the above-average counts in 2007–08 and 2006–07. The Ombuds Office was not involved in these issues, yet they contribute to the count.
It is likely that further consistency in data recording resulted in the steady increasing trend of issues brought to and handled through the Ombuds Office starting in 2011–12.
In 2014–2015, further refinement in data recording resulted in fewer issues being reported. By separating more substantial issues and more casual issues, while reporting on only the substantial issues, we see a large decrease in total issues reported.
Total new issues – by month
There is a trend of increased visitors at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters, in September and January. We see a peak near the end of the spring semester, in April, as well.
January is our office's most active month.
Conjecture: the concurrence of issues originating in the Fall semester, January graduation, and the onset of the Spring semester make January our busiest month.
June and July are our least busy months - summer is predictably the least busy time of the year.
During the school year, September through May, there has been an average of 13 new visitors each month.
Visitors' student classification – by month
Both undergraduate and graduates who come to the Ombuds Office have similar trends. September and January see increases — both months are the beginning of new semesters.
Undergraduates have another sudden increase in April, the end of regular classes for the Spring semester, while graduate student have the increase in March.
It would be interesting to have a larger sample size of graduate students to see if the trend would more closely resemble the undergraduates.
What departments are related to the issues?
For an issue for which a student comes to the Ombuds Office, there may be multiple departments, offices, or divisions within the university that are related to the issue.
“Academic Services” was a generic department tag that represented any sort of academic-advising or academic-support department in the university. Due to its generic coverage, it remains the top psuedo-department as of 2014.
Starting mid 2013–2014, use of this generic tag was replaced by specific academic departments or the schools themselves.
Starting in 2012, issues related to tuition reimbursement, semester withdrawals, and financial aid increased substantially — roughly doubling year-after-year.
Student Accounting began referring students and their parents to the Ombuds Office for extenuating circumstances involving withdrawing from school while dealing with the financial consequences of withdrawing that include financial aid and refund rates.
Notes about these statistics and numbers
Due to the complexity of issues addressed by this office, subjective nature of categorization, and incomplete record keeping early on, drawing conclusions based on broad analysis of early data is tenuous.
Starting in 2014–15, issues and visitor information reported here became more selective, representing more substantial issues than were reported in previous years. More casual issues that were handled through the Ombuds Office are not reported here from 2014–15 onward.
Totals and percentages
Percents are rounded to the nearest whole number and may not total to 100%.
This data only represents visitors and issues that were brought to the Office of the Ombudsperson for Students between 2005–2016.
This data does not represent Rutgers University as a whole.