Thursday January 8, 2009

In Demand

Applications to UD for the fall are up about 2.5 percent over last year's record numbers and counter the national trend for private colleges.

Across the nation, some private colleges and universities are seeing a decline in applications and worrying about what the economic downturn may be doing to enrollment.

But the University of Dayton, which saw near-record applications for first-year students for 2008-09, is bucking that trend, seeing an increase in applications and increased interest from out-of-state students, according to Rob Durkle, vice president and dean of admission.

Even more encouraging, the number of campus visitors -- the best predictor of student deposits -- was up more than 1,000 from last year's record numbers, Durkle said.

As of Jan. 6, 10,468 students had completed applications to enter in fall, 2009. That's about 2.5 percent more ahead of last year's record pace for applications, he said.

Durkle is "cautiously optimistic," but said that the application pool so far is more racially and internationally diverse than last year's, with higher academic quality and a greater proportion of applicants from outside Ohio.

Potential students also are seeking more financial aid and the University is better poised to offer help, Durkle said.

A recent $10 million gift from an anonymous donor is dedicated to scholarships for education, business and engineering students. The University is also participating in new state scholarship programs that offer grants to students studying in the STEMM fields -- science, technology, engineering, math and medical.

Durkle attributed the increased interest in the University of Dayton to more aggressive, targeted marketing, fine-tuned to stand out and geared to reach those students across the country who would be most interested in the unique aspects of a University of Dayton education.

"This seems to suggest that the word is out on the quality of our programs on campus," he said. "It also suggests UD is becoming a first choice for more students. When people look at the value of a UD education, the quality of our academic programs is at the core, whether that's our Honors and Scholars program, study abroad, undergraduate research opportunities, or being the No. 4 entrepreneurship program in the country. Our philosophy is that our students are going to make a difference in the world. We can help them be the best in their field, but also the best person they can be."

The University of Dayton is Ohio’s largest private university and a top-tier national university with sponsored research totaling $80 million annually. As one of the top-10 Catholic universities in the nation, UD emphasizes transformative education and prepares students for leadership and service in their communities in the Marianist tradition.

For more information, contact Cilla Shindell, director of media relations, at 937-229-3257 or shindell@udayton.edu.