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Int.’l enrollment at 10-year low for SMC

Liz Harter | Monday, September 17, 2007

Saint Mary’s is furthering its recruitment of international prospects as its enrollment of such students hit a 10-year low this semester.

The College has only eight international students this year, including two freshmen. Saint Mary’s is striving to increase its international student population to three percent by the 2012, vice president of enrollment management Dan Meyer said. The eight students compose less than one percent of the student body.

The College utilizes a number of electronic resources to target potential students abroad. While no one from the admissions office has traveled internationally for a number of years, the office does have a number of contacts in other countries.

“We seek names from high school counselors who are a good source for international students participating in study abroad [and] exchange programs,” Meyer said.

The office also contacts alumnae who are living in other countries and asks them to help with recruiting.

“While we don’t have organized alumnae chapters overseas,” Meyer said, “we are

gathering [their] names so we can contact them regarding their willingness to assist in contacting international students who apply from their countries.”

Along with Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame is increasingly trying to recruit international students.

This year, the plurality of international students came from South Korea, said Ruben de Jesus C. Medina, assistant director of international operations.

“Recruitment [of international students] is very similar to the way we recruit domestic students,” Medina said.

Representatives from the University travel to different countries each year to visit high schools during the day and host “information nights” during the evening.

Alumni clubs in different countries from which the University recruits also play a large role in encouraging accepted students to attend Notre Dame.

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions will host its first Hesburgh International Scholars Weekend in April, which Medina said will be for international prospects what Spring Visitation weekend is for minority prospects.

There is a difference in application procedures for international students. Whereas domestic applicants complete “need-blind” applications for admission, the University has a “need-aware” admissions process, Medina said.

“Thus a student’s financial situation is taken into account when evaluating their application as we have very limited financial aid available for international students,” he said. “On average we give out no more than 15 partial international financial aid packages every year.”

The University currently recruits international students in Asia, Central America and South America.