College Admissions Trends 2013 – Part 2

The college admissions personnel on the panel spoke about the admissions trends at their colleges. This post focuses on the comments from Rider University, Fordham University and TCNJ admissions personnel.

Susan Christian, Dean of Enrollment at Rider University commented that there was growth in interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), education, and fine and performing arts programs at Rider. There was an increase in the percentage of Hispanic students. The school had a new academic building, a new residential hall, and had improved their theatres. Rider looked at the strength of the high school student’s academic program and transcript. They had 8500 applications for 950 freshman seats. For the Westminster Choir College, the audition is a critical factor.

John Buckley, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management at Fordham University, noted that 40% of students are undeclared majors to start. At Fordham the biggest majors are biology and communications. When he started working at Fordham, the school received about 4000 applications a year; now they receive about 36000 applications, including 2500 international applications. Fordham admits students with an average 3.7 Grade Point Average (GPA) and an SAT score between 1830 and 2050 (3 sections). They look for an upward trend in grades, students who are leaders, and students who give service to their school/community. It is difficult to do an internal transfer into the business school.

Grecia Montero, Director of Admissions at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) saw a 7% increase in freshman applications this year, with an 11% increase in applications for biology majors. There is a new Education building, as well as a new Arts & Communication building. There was an increase in applicants from Massachusetts and Connecticut. The SAT was optional this year, for the first time. Acceptance is based on the department you are interested in. There were 11,000 applications with 4,000 acceptances. Students are typically from the top 10-15% of their class with SAT scores between 1250 and 1360 (for Critical Reading and Math). High school rank and test scores needed for admissions are more difficult for certain majors including Chemistry, Biology and Nursing. The school keeps track of student visits and communications with the school. TCNJ has no cap on out-of-state or international students.

The next post on college admissions trends will focus on the comments from admissions personnel at the remaining three colleges: Rutgers University, Stevens Institute of Technology, and Manhattanville College.

Fordham University (Bronx, NY)

Fordham University is the Jesuit University of New York, one of 28 Jesuit universities in the United States, with three undergraduate colleges and two New York campuses. The Fordham mission is to care for the entire person, strive for greatness, and to develop men and women for others by providing community service, locally and abroad.

I visited the Rose Hill campus in a working-class neighborhood in the Bronx, which houses the Fordham College at Rose Hill and the Gabelli School of Business. In 2010, the College of Business Administration was renamed the Gabelli School of Business after Mario Gabelli made a 25 million dollar gift to Fordham. You might know my tour guide, a young woman from Basking Ridge. She is a triplet who graduated from Ridge High School, is studying at the Gabelli School, studied abroad in Italy, is a member of the crew team, and has had internships.

The other campus is the 8-acre Lincoln Center campus in the heart of Manhattan, which houses the Fordham College at Lincoln Center. Both the Fordham College at Rose Hill and the Fordham College in Lincoln Center offer majors in the Liberal Arts and Sciences. There are a few majors that are only offered at one of these two colleges. Some sciences are only offered in Rose Hill and dance, theatre and social work are only offered in Lincoln Center.

The Rose Hill campus is home to 5000 undergraduates, 80% who live on campus and 20% who commute. The campus covers 85 green acres in the middle of a city neighborhood in the Bronx. It is a green, Gothic oasis close to the Metro-North train, bus and subway transportation, which provides students an opportunity to intern or take advantage of the arts/nightlife in Manhattan. The school runs a shuttle service, the Ram Van, between the two campuses, as well as a late-night Rose Hill Off-campus shuttle. The school is also close to the sights of the Bronx, and is across the street from the Bronx Zoo and the New York Botanical Garden.

The Fordham College at Rose Hill has 3300 undergraduates majoring in the liberal arts and sciences. The Gabelli School has 1700 undergraduate students majoring in business; a new business building with expanded, new capabilities will be opening in the Fall. The Rose Hill campus also has five year BS/MBA programs and 5 year Bachelor’s/Masters programs.

The Lincoln Center campus has 1750 undergraduate. Half are residential and half are commuters.

Housing is guaranteed all four years at both campuses.

The school has a large core curriculum and a small average class size of 22 students. The core curriculum includes two theology classes, but these are not limited to Catholic theology.

The Division I athletics are housed in the Bronx campus. There are 143 clubs and organizations. Internships, community service, campus ministry, and study abroad are popular. Fordham provides access to over 2600 internships and three quarters of Fordham students have had at least one internship by graduation. There are over 165 study abroad programs.

Fordham University accepts the Common Application and the SAT or ACT. They admitted 42% of applicants with an average GPA of 3.7 and the mid-50% score on the SAT of 1830 – 2050. They provide both merit and need-based financial aid. They have both Early Action and regular admission. Early Action applications, as well as all Dance/Theatre applications, are due on 11/1. Regular admission applications are due on 1/15. Students can receive credit for AP exams.

If you are a student looking to study liberal arts and sciences, or business at a private Catholic college with a campus in a city environment, the Rose Hill campus of Fordham University may be for you. If you have visited or recently attended the Fordham University Rose Hill campus, what did you think of the school?