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SMC increased recruitment boosts freshman enrollment

Anneliese Woolford | Thursday, August 21, 2003

After employing a new tactic to boost enrollment numbers, Saint Mary’s College welcomes a freshman class of more students with better academic credentials to its community this weekend. The Admission Office received 1,014 applications for admittance and accepted 828 students, 403 of which are officially enrolled to begin their first year as full-time students. In comparison to last year’s class size of 376, enrollment is up by seven percent, said Mary Pat Nolan, director of admissions.”In fact, we exceeded our goal,” Nolan said. Four of the 403 women are international students, representing Guatemala, the Ivory Coast, Latvia and Uganda. One transfer student from Northern Ireland will also begin her studies at Saint Mary’s this fall. The minority population of the freshman class is an estimated eight percent, with Hispanic students constituting the largest percentage. The Admission Office utilized a new tactic to engender such an enrollment jump. It produced a series of “V-Mag” magazines delivered via the Internet to all accepted students. The series highlighted successful alumnae of the College, financial aid and affordability, the nature and benefits of a Catholic women’s college and the relationship between Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s. “It’s something we’re seriously considering doing again,” Nolan said. “In terms of other things we did, I think that was the most unique and cutting-edge. There was one other college in the country that used the strategy, and that was Georgetown, so we were very excited to be able to participate in the project.”In Nolan’s opinion, the magazine was well received by both students and parents of the class of 2007, and Saint Mary’s is looking forward to welcoming the class into its community.Ten women in the class of 2007 were the valedictorians of their high school graduating classes and six were salutatorians.The median SAT verbal score for the class ranged from 500 to 610 and the SAT math score was between 510 and 610.The average high school grade point average for the class was 3.69, an improvement from last year’s 3.66. The incoming students represent 35 states, with 29 percent concentrated in Indiana and 72 percent concentrated in the Midwest, including Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Ohio. “I think this group of women represent a geographic diversity that will demonstrate a wealth of experience,” Nolan said. “There is a wide range of gifts and special talents in these women and we’re very excited that they’re all here.”

Natalie Bailey contributed to this story.