Mr. Modany, you may begin.
Kevin M. Modany
Thank you very much. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for joining us on our conference call to review our 2012 first quarter results. As usual, Dan Fitzpatrick, our Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, is on the call with me this morning. For our prepared remarks today, we'll follow our standard format and limit our comments so as to allow more time for your questions during the Q&A session. We'll start the call with a few brief thoughts regarding the marketing and advertising results for the quarter. From there, we'll provide a few comments regarding the new student enrollment results. We'll then review student retention and persistence metrics in the first quarter. And 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 will provide a few comments regarding our 2012 share repurchase activity and our efforts to facilitate additional private education loan options for our students. Dan will then provide a few comments regarding the financial results reported in this morning's press release as well as the new credit facility. At that point, we'll open up the call for your questions.
Let me begin by providing a review of the 2012 first quarter marketing and advertising results. Advertising expenditures increased 5.8% in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the same prior year period. This was slightly less than we had planned at the start of the quarter due, primarily, to a higher level of preemptions on certain television advertising. For the third consecutive quarter, we experienced a more material year-over-year decline in new student enrollment in criminal justice programs in the first quarter compared to the new student enrollment in our other curricula as a result of self-directed changes to program offerings at select campuses.