College Eyes Record New Student Enrollment in the Fall
Alma College is on pace to welcome its largest-ever incoming class
of new students when fall classes begin less than three months from now.
Final enrollment numbers won't be known until September, but all signs point to a record-setting class in the 440 to 450 range, according to Evan Montague, admissions director.
"We just hosted the largest student orientation in the College's recent history on June 8, and we are getting ready to do it again on June 22 when about 200 new students plus family members will visit campus for Becoming a Scot Day," said Montague.
Alma has enrolled 400 or more new students five times in its history, with a record enrollment of 442 in 1992. This year, more than 445 admitted students -- a 28 percent increase over last year at this time -- have submitted their $200 commitment deposits indicating their intent to attend. More deposits are anticipated before the summer is over.
The last time Alma enrolled more than 400 new students was in 2000. Last year, Alma enrolled 348 new students.
"Applications are up 5.6 percent and are continuing to come in, breaking the 2,000-plus application mark for the second straight year," said Montague. "Campus visits are up 38 percent. Students who visit Alma College have a great experience.
"This incoming class is very high achieving and very enthusiastic about attending Alma. This is a class that will have an impact on Alma College for years to come," he said.
Montague credits a number of factors for the increased interest, including facility improvements, strategic interactions with prospective students, and academic programs that promote student involvement.
"Alma College is all about student involvement, and a number of achievements this past year endorse the College's reputation for providing superior student experiences," he said.
"For example, Alma was one of 240 colleges in the nation selected for inclusion the Colleges of Distinction Guidebook," he said. "Last year's National Survey of Student Engagement results reported that Alma's level of faculty-student interaction was among the top 5 percent in the nation. Even Josh Brehm winning the national Gagliardi Trophy for excellence in academics, athletics and community service points to the high level of student involvement that takes place at Alma."
The College's 2006 launch of the Center for Responsible Leadership provides opportunities for student travel and experiences that "set them apart when leaving the College after graduation," said Montague. Bob Dole and George McGovern visited Alma last September as part of the Center for Responsible Leadership Speaker Series. This September, Madeleine Albright will visit Alma.
Facility improvements to some student activity areas and residence halls, increased marketing efforts, and enhanced recruitment inititives that included the launch of an online, interactive Web portal for new students also have impacted enrollment, said Montague.
"Our admissions team implemented strategies that encouraged prospective students to interact with campus earlier in the process," said Montague. "The entire campus -- faculty, staff and current students -- rallied to assist in the recruitment of new students. It was truly a team effort."
Total enrollment typically falls between 1,200 and 1,300 students. Preterm classes for new students begin Aug. 25. Fall classes for returning students begin Sept. 4.
Posted: Fri, June 15th, 2007 at 10:33AM