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Class size decreases at SMC

Kelly Meehan | Sunday, August 22, 2004

At a time when Notre Dame is struggling to find room for all of its admits, its sister school is facing the opposite problem – an enrollment drop of 12.7 percent.The Saint Mary’s class of 2008 is down 51 students from the previous year. But according to Mary Pat Nolan, admissions director, Saint Mary’s is not alone in its decreasing numbers. “Many of the schools that our applicants apply to were also having challenging years and there was a considerable amount of movement among waitlists,” Nolan said. “Choosing a state university, whether regional or flagship, seems to have become an acceptable option for students wanting to stay closer to home or for students wanting to find a lower cost educational option,” many of whom would have selected Saint Mary’s in the past.Nolan said Saint Mary’s does not usually compete for students with other small private colleges or women’s colleges. Nation-ally only two percent of students consider attending a women’s college.The Admissions office will not know the exact cause of the decrease until it has analyzed the data from the College Board Admitted Student Questionnaire, which will help the College learn more about perspective students’ choices.But despite weaker numbers, the class of 2008 is academically strong. “Our new students bring diverse interests, skills and talents. These women are artists, athletes, scholars, musicians, student leader and community volunteers,” Nolan said.The middle 50 percent SAT range for the class of 2008 was 530 to 610 on verbal and 510 to 630 on math, and a middle 50 percent score of 22 to 27 on the ACT. The middle 50 percent had a final grade point average of 3.38 to 3.9, with ranking in the top 21 percent of their classes. Seven women were valedictorians of their high school graduating class and three were salutatorians. About 21 percent of the class of 2008 are children of alumnae.Although 75 percent of Saint Mary’s students come from the Midwest, the incoming freshman class will represent 34 states and two foreign countries – Afghanistan and Bulgaria.”The Saint Mary’s community looks forward to the contributions that the class of 2008 will make at the College and in the world far beyond our campus,” said Nolan.