Class size cut for student benefit
Freshman enrollment for the 2011-2012 academic year is about one thousand students, approximately 300 students fewer than last year.
The main reason for a lower enrollment this year is to keep the academic environment able to give more personal attention, according to Alyssa McCloud, vice president of enrollment management.
McCloud also served as director of admissions for a seven year period.
“I think now we want to go back to more consistent class size,” McCloud said. “When we brought 1300 students in it was above what we expected. It’s more about what we can offer academically.”
According to McCloud, when the University is able to share information with students about strong academics are and how much faculty care about students, enrollment is strong.
McCloud has worked at two other schools and said that enrollment varies everywhere depending on the year, with goals changing depending on the class enrollment beforehand.
Balancing enrollment by lowering the size of the class of 2015 prevents burdening faculty with large class sizes, McCloud added.
According to McCloud, this year the enrollment team changed some strategies, which resulted in fewer applications.
Making the applications free for a period of time in fall 2010 caused a greater enrollment than expected, and in response Seton Hall did away with the free application to get more “serious students,” McCloud said.
She emphasized that a comfortable dynamic in the classroom is a key factor.
According to McCloud, most research from the past 20 years shows students will apply to colleges based on quality and availability of academic programs.
“I really care, I have worked with students for many years and I know (college) can be overwhelming,” she said.
Target enrollment is set in late October or early November of each year for the following year.
For fall 2012, McCloud and her colleagues are currently developing an idea of the expected enrollment, but do not work by pinpointing a solid number.
Charlotte Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.