A Message From Academic Affairs
I write to ask your help with this year's student recruitment effort. Our colleagues Kent Barnds, Meghan Cooley, and all in the Admissions Office and the Office of Financial Assistance have been working hard to meet the goals the college has set for this year, and they have had much success: at this point, we have the college's largest ever applicant pool with 3,294 applications, as well as our most diverse pool, with 562 applicants from diverse backgrounds.
Despite this success, since mid-February we have been running between 50 and 70 deposits behind the last two years. This amounts to 20 to 30 percent behind. We believe that this is due in large part to the concerns that prospective students and their families have about the economy as we hear news of a recession. With falling household income, falling construction and a weak housing market, families are taking a second look at private colleges.
We know that we are not alone, and that many other Midwestern liberal arts colleges are facing similar difficulties. This fact makes our situation more pressing because we know that these other colleges will be doing all they can to meet their recruitment goals.
These concerns will require the Augustana community to work together to find a solution. Because of the external pressures we are facing, faculty may be contacted with greater frequency in the next seven weeks and asked to take an active role in the recruitment process. I would urge you to describe that there are plenty of opportunities for positive involvement in the coming weeks—ranging from hosting students in class when they visit, to interviewing potential honors students, and greeting students during the Admissions Office's Experience Augustana events (March 31, April 7 and April 14). Admissions is also always looking for faculty who are willing to reach out to top prospects via e-mail, phone or otherwise, and I would be grateful if you will let Kent Barnds or I know what you are willing/able to do.