Class of 2013
Freshman class is the biggest in IC history. By Maura Stephens
College admission is a tricky business at any time, but these days it’s especially challenging. First, demographic data indicate that the size of high school graduating classes started decreasing in 2008 and will continue to decrease over the next 8 to 10 years. Second, the global financial crisis of 2008–09 has affected people from across the economic spectrum, making it tougher for families to come up with tuition and room and board fees.
Yet despite these odds, Ithaca College welcomed its largest entering freshman class in history this fall. How did it happen? In no small part because the admission, financial aid, and marketing communications staff, worked hard to ensure a good-size class for 2009–10 after the disappointingly small 2008–09 freshman class.
While Ithaca College has been growing in prestige over the last several years, making it more attractive to potential students, aggressive enrollment strategies this year led to a larger than expected class. Strategies included offering more financial aid than ever and pumping up the social media peer-to-peer marketing.
But the large class, while heartening in most ways, brought some temporary challenges. Housing was short, so the residence life staff responded by identifying more off-campus living options for sophomores, juniors, and seniors; converting lounges into living space; turning some doubles into triples; and constructing a temporary student housing building that has beds for around 80 students. Staff in academics, dining, and other services also adjusted for the larger-than-expected freshman class.
“Everyone rose to the challenge,” says Brian McAree, vice president for student affairs and campus life. “It’s exciting to feel the extra energy on campus that comes from having so many newcomers.”
Two thousand twenty-seven students comprise the entering class of 2013. More than 11 percent of them were in the top 5 percent of their high school class; more than 27 percent of them were in the top 10 percent. The College also enjoyed its highest ever enrollment of African American, Latino/a American, Asian American, and Native American students, totaling 14.9 percent of the freshman class this year.
“I often focus on how an Ithaca College education transforms our students,” wrote President Tom Rochon in his August 3, 2009, blog. “But the opposite is also true: our students transform the College.”
You can read the president’s full blog entry at www.ithaca.edu/president—“Hail the Class of 2013!”