Thank you, operator. Good morning, ladies and gentleman. Thank you for joining us on our conference call to review our 2011 fourth quarter results. On the call with me this morning is our Executive VP and Chief Financial Officer, Dan Fitzpatrick. For our prepared remarks today, we will follow our standard format and limit our comments as to allot more time for your questions during the Q&A session.
We'll start the call with an overview of the fourth quarter marketing and advertising results. From there, we'll provide a few comments regarding the new student enrollment results in the fourth quarter of 2011 that we reported this morning. We will then review student retention and persistence results in the 2011 fourth quarter. At that point, we'll provide an update on the graduate employment metrics of our 2011 graduates. I will then provide an update on the execution of our strategic plan. Before, I turn it over to Dan, I'll discuss our efforts to facilitate additional private financing options for our students. Dan will then provide more insight on the financial results reported in this morning's press release. I'll then give a brief update on the federal student loan default prevention efforts and the related impact on our cohort default rates. And lastly Dan will discuss our share repurchase activity in the fourth quarter and the full-year of 2011. At that point, we will open up the call for your questions.
Let me begin by providing review of our 2011 fourth quarter marketing and advertising efforts. Advertising expenditures increased 9.7% in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to the same period in the prior year. This was below our planned increase of 15% to 20% primarily due to our transition away from low-cost low-converting media sources and higher costs traditional media outlets to alternative media sources that generate higher rates of return.