Thursday May 6, 2010

A Great Value

The University of Dayton attracts double-digit increase in enrollment deposits, expects to enroll one of the largest entering classes since the Baby Boomers went to college.

May 1, the traditional deadline for students to submit enrollment deposits, fell on a Saturday, but University of Dayton officials knew early last week that they will be welcoming a bumper crop of first-year students this fall.

Despite lingering effects of the recession, Ohio's largest private university has attracted approximately 300 enrollment deposits over its goal. Enrollment confirmations, currently at 2,058, are running 20 percent ahead of last year, and the University is on pace to enroll one of the largest entering classes since the Baby Boomers went to college.

With a doubling of deposits from African-American students and nearly 1,000 enrollment confirmations from 40 states outside Ohio, the class is shaping up to be perhaps the most ethnically and geographically diverse in history. Entering test scores are on par with last year's record mark.

"This speaks volumes about the national reputation of the University of Dayton," said Daniel J. Curran, president. "Families realize the immense value of an education that calls students to use their knowledge and faith to make a real difference in the world."

The University of Dayton remains one of the most affordable private, Catholic universities in the nation. U.S. News & World Report listed the school as one of the nation's top values in the magazine's 2010 edition of "America's Best Colleges." The University of Dayton ranked 36th on the "Great Schools, Great Prices" list, which includes all eight Ivy League schools, Notre Dame, Boston College and Georgetown.

"In a tough market, quality and value always win," said Sundar Kumarasamy, vice president for enrollment management. "At the end of the day, parents want to know, 'Where are we going to get a terrific education with a lifelong value?'"

On April 29, U.S. News & World Report featured the University of Dayton as one of "six colleges that went above and beyond their competitors to sway the remaining undecided students." Prospective students don't just receive acceptance letters; they also get phone calls and e-mails from their University of Dayton "success coach." These success coaches counsel students about more than majors. They give pep talks about money and time management, living with roommates, even the inevitable homesickness.

It's the campus visit, however, that makes or breaks a 17-year-old's college decision. When a record number of prospective students came to campus on a snowy President's Day in February, it was no accident. They came in busloads from Cleveland and Indianapolis as part of a new strategy to encourage more accepted students to visit campus. Tour guides are paired with prospective students who share hometowns, intended majors or areas of interests. This year, a record 4,500 admitted students visited campus - a 26 percent jump over last year.

"It's the value of one-on-one attention given by our faculty, staff, alumni and our current students," Kumarasamy said. "With every small touch point, we are making an impression about quality and value. We're showing students who we are. We're making clear what a Catholic, Marianist education is and how it is different."

Founded in 1850 by the Society of Mary (Marianists), the University of Dayton is a top-tier national research university and one of the 10 best Catholic universities in the nation.

For more information, contact Sundar Kumarasamy at 937-229-3756.

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