|Stevens Institute of Technology|
The college admissions personnel on the panel spoke about their schools. This focuses on the trends shared by admissions personnel from Rutgers University, Stevens Institute of Technology, and Manhattanville College.
Paul Johnson, Assistant Vice President, Research and Enrollment Services at Rutgers University, indicated that applications were up by 6% this year. Rutgers has a new president who oversaw the merger of Rutgers and the Medical School. On the Livingston campus there is a new residence hall and a new business building. Rutgers handles 32,000 applications and values the right high school courses, grades, and standardized test scores. They admit by school with mid-ranges for GPA and test scores varying by school; this data is on their website. Rutgers would like more out-of-state and international students. While 50% of students change majors, it is very difficult to transfer into popular majors. School- to-school transfer requirements are on-line.
Shane Topping, Director of Admissions at Stevens Institute of Technology, spoke of a 22% increase in applications this year. A new president started in July 2011. The most popular major at Stevens is Mechanical Engineering. There is increased interest in Biomedical Engineering and Environmental Engineering. International applications are up. The school has a popular 5-year Masters program where the scholarship and financial aid from the undergraduate years continues to the 5th year. Stevens students have an average high school GPA of 3.8. A 20-25 minute interview is required and is important. For engineering and science majors they are looking to see students who have had 4 years of Math and Science.
Kevin O’Sullivan, Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Manhattanville College said his school is known for its international students and diversity. One thousand of their 5,000 applications are from international students. The school has students from 56 countries, with the biggest representation from Ecuador, Vietnam, China, Brazil and Canada. Thirty percent of their students study abroad in their European Union (EU) program based in Southern Germany, in which students visit every EU country. Manhattanville has NGO status, allowing their students access to UN programs. The school went test-optional four years ago. The size of the freshman class has grown from 407 to 608 students in the last two years. The undergraduate Sports Management program is new to the school. Manhattanville is working on developing a new accounting major. Management is the most popular major. Manhattanville values demonstrated interest. Admitted students have a solid B average with an average SAT score of 1100 (for Math and Critical Reading).
If you work in Admissions or Enrollment Management at a college, do you have any trends you want to share about your college?
On February 26th, I attended a workshop at Rutgers University featuring a panel of college admissions and high school guidance personnel. They reviewed college admissions issues, concerns, and trends for members of the NJ Association of College Admission Counseling (NJACAC). The common themes were increased applications, more applications from international students, more demand for certain majors, continued building on-campus, and NJ state colleges looking for students from outside of NJ. Do any of these trends surprise you?
Some questions discussed included the impact of the economy on colleges and financial aid. Some private colleges are offering additional financial aid, with some discounting up to 50%. The panelists didn’t see how that could be supported on a long-term basis. Parents are asking more questions on college completion rates; it is taking students 5.6 years to graduate on the average. Some colleges are seeing the willingness to pay for college going down among those who can afford to pay. There is also an increase in families appealing financial aid awards. As parents, how has the economy impacted how you view a college education for your son or daughter?
In my next post, I will review the comments from the admissions personnel from Rider University, Fordham University, and The College of NJ (TCNJ).
What gender issues are colleges facing?
How should high school students spend their summer?
What is the role of the interview in the admissions decision?
How are you using social media?
What’s happening with Spring admits?
The panel of admissions personnel at the Higher Education Consultants Association Conference discussed “What intangible factors make a student stand out?”
Chris Hooker-Haring, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Muhlenberg College, valued energy, sustained commitment, intellectual curiosity, and authenticity.
Lou Hirsch, Director of Admissions at the University of Delaware, indicated that he didn’t expect applicants to be Olympic Gold Medalists. He wanted to know who the student is and how did he get that way. He wants to learn how the student’s activities shaped them. When the letters of recommendation and student’s essays mesh, he found it compelling.
Mark Spencer, Director of Admissions at Brandeis University, said that admissions officers sometimes have a bias. If the admissions officer feels connected to the student because of their story, that student had an advantage.
Brian Estrada, Director of Admissions at Dartmouth College, talked about valuing students who are open to learning from others, as well as students who others can learn from. Dartmouth College considers moral development and peer recommendations.
Courtney McAnuff, Vice President of Enrollment Management at Rutgers University, said the Rutgers admissions office does not see race, gender or high school when evaluating applications. Rutgers University is concerned about how students work with diverse situations and want to have a well-rounded class.
What intangible factors do you think make a student stand out?
I attended the Higher Education Consultants Association Conference this week. Here’s what’s happening in college admissions, according to key admissions personnel who participated in a panel entitled “College Trends and Hot Topics: Admissions 2012.”
Courtney McAnuff, Vice President of Enrollment Management for Rutgers University indicated that he was looking at a proposal to merge UMDNJ with Rutgers, which now seems likely. He was also looking into the merger of Rowan and Rutgers Camden. The size of the Rutgers freshmen class will be reduced for the next three years, because retention is up.
Brian Estrada, Director of Admissions at Dartmouth College said, with the April nomination of their college president to lead the World Bank, Dartmouth is looking for a new college president. This year Dartmouth had 23,000 applicants and accepted 2200 of them. 1104 students will be attending, and Dartmouth may accept 5 more students from the wait list.
Mark Spencer, Director of Admissions at Brandeis University said parents are becoming more concerned about college costs. This year a lower percent of students stayed on the wait list and a lower percent of students are accepting a spot off of the wait list.
Lou Hirsch, Director of Admissions at the University of Delaware indicated that his school had the same situation with the wait list as Brandeis. Parents seemed more concerned with college cost and “have gotten over if their child doesn’t get into their first choice school.”
Chris Hooker-Haring, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Muhlenberg College told the independent counselors that Muhlenberg had over 5000 applicants this year. They admitted about 50% of their incoming class through Early Decision. It took longer to get to their target class size this spring and there were more conversations with parents about money and value.
In a future blog post, I will cover the panel’s input on college essays, gender imbalance at college, how high school students should spend the summer, college interviews, college use of social media, and spring admits.
At the NJACAC meeting, the following colleges shared some “new” information: