Monday May 20, 2013

In High Demand

Incoming first-year students will be the most selective and geographically diverse class in University history.

The University of Dayton's reputation and selectivity are growing with the incoming first-year class in August expected to be one of the most academically prepared and geographically diverse in school history.

Competition to get into the private, Catholic university also continues to rise, with only about one out of every two applicants accepted. Overall, selectivity has improved by nearly 30 percentage points in just a decade.

The University expects to welcome about 1,900 first-year students when classes start in August, according to Sundar Kumarasamy, vice president of enrollment management and marketing. Total undergraduate enrollment will be on par with last year's record of nearly 8,000.

"We are exceptionally pleased with the quality and the size of the incoming class," Kumarasamy said. "With increasing competition in Ohio and nationally for a declining number of college-aged students, we are gratified to see the University of Dayton's continued broad appeal all over the world. It's a resounding endorsement of the academic quality and value of a Catholic, Marianist education."

University officials accepted fewer students than last year, consciously controlling the first-year class size after three-straight years of stronger-than-projected enrollment, which led to high demand for campus housing. Accepting fewer students led to another improvement in the acceptance rate — from 55 percent last year to 52 percent this year.

"Student demand for campus housing is very robust at the University of Dayton; more than 90 percent of our students live on or near campus — we're one of the most residential campuses in the U.S.," Kumarasamy said. "Starting this year, we're offering a four-year guarantee of University housing to first-year students who make that choice."

To help families make more informed decisions, this is the first class to receive a four-year financial plan with full disclosure of all costs and a pledge their scholarships and grants will grow dollar for dollar each year to match tuition increases. It's part of a national call for transparency in college costs and has been very well received by parents and students, according to Kumarasamy.

While the number of high school seniors in the Midwest is projected to decline until 2015, this year's record 16,024 applications is driving efforts to diversify University enrollment, especially with out-of-state and international students, according to Kumarasamy.

The number of first-year students from outside Ohio is expected to hit a record 57 percent; since 2006 that figure has jumped nearly 18 percentage points. The greatest growth is coming from Tennessee, Nebraska, Michigan, Kansas, Iowa, Florida and Puerto Rico.

The University also expects to see a new high in international enrollment. Top countries with growing enrollments include the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Egypt, Indonesia, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. China continues to send more students to the University of Dayton than any other country. Last year, one in 10 students on campus hailed from outside the U.S.

This year's class is also expected to equal the highest average test scores in the University's history, making it one of the best academically prepared classes as measured by college entrance test scores and high school GPAs. Kumarasamy said these indicators demonstrate the University's continuing appeal to top students in the nation.

The University of Dayton remains one of the best values among nationally ranked private, Catholic universities in the nation. Founded in 1850 by the Society of Mary (Marianists), the University of Dayton is a top-tier national research university.

For more information, contact Cilla Shindell, executive director of news and communications, at 937-229-3257 or