Wednesday January 9, 2008

New Record

The University of Dayton has received more than 10,000 applications for the first-year class and will start a wait list.

It's still early in the college selection process, but the University of Dayton already has received an unprecedented number of applications for next fall's first-year class and will establish a wait list later this month.

UD, Ohio's largest private university and one of the nation's preeminent Catholic universities, has surpassed the 10,000 application mark for the first time in its history, according to Sundar Kumarasamy, vice president for enrollment management. In one weekend alone before Christmas, UD received more than 500 applications. Students have applied from every state except Montana. Minority applications are up 42.5 percent.

To date, the University of Dayton has attracted 10,183 applications, a robust 37 percent increase over last year's 7,430 applications at this time. Campus visits, the single greatest indicator of whether students who applied will enroll, are up 8 percent.

While the University of Dayton has attracted record applications in five out of the last six years, it has never broken the mark this early. UD's previous record of 9,052 applications came in May 2006. UD typically enrolls between 1,750 and 1,800 students in its first-year class.

UD officials attribute the upswing to a strong academic reputation; personalized communication and expanded direct mail efforts; a new communication campaign with guidance counselors nationwide; and a common, standardized application form that allows students to apply to any of 300 colleges and universities nationwide.

UD's enrollment management is bringing 25 guidance counselors a year to campus to show off $150 million of new student housing and academic facilities and introduce them to such high-profile initiatives as the RISE Forum, the world's largest student investment forum, and the Stander Symposium, an annual two-day event that showcases undergraduate research.

"We're building brand recognition with guidance counselors and prospective students and their families," Kumarasamy said. "We're trying to get them to remember one thing: UD is a top-ten, top-tier Catholic residential university. We are stating boldly and clearly who we are."

The number of high school graduates nationally has increased from a low of 2.5 million in 1995-96 to an estimated 3.2 million in 2006-07, according to the 2007 State of College Admission report by the National Association for College Admission Counseling. The number is high school graduates is expected to peak at 3.3 million in 2008-09. In 2006, about one-third of colleges maintained a wait list, the report said.

For more information, contact Teri Rizvi at 937-229-3255 or rizvi@udayton.edu.