Submitted on behalf of Peter Bardaglio, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
We have mostly positive news to report on the enrollment front. Total applications for freshman hit a new record high (12,341), 11.3% higher than last year. Transfer applications (719) were up similarly, 12.2% higher than last year. A new record has also been set in the number of ALANA applicants (1,702 freshman and 72 transfers) up 17.7% over last year. The number of international applicants also increased, though less dramatically, to 488 from 458 in 2005.
The profile of the applicant pool this year was comparable to last year’s record high with an average combined Verbal and Math SAT score of 1170 vs. 1172 last year and an average high school percentile ranking in the top 24% versus the top 25% last year, making this once again one of the strongest applicant pools in Ithaca College’s history.
As reported last year, the shift toward a higher academic profile continues to have a negative effect on yield as we compete with an ever more prestigious set of institutions. Consequently, we must accept larger numbers to meet our targets. The increased number of applicants, however, has enabled us to reduce by several percentage points our accept rate and to raise the bar again academically. The average combined Verbal and Math SAT scores for accepts increased six points from 1200 to 1206 (a new record). The average high school rank for an accepted student increased similarly from the top 20th percentile to the top 19th percentile.
As of this writing, we have 1,656 net freshman deposits and 178 transfer deposits. With projected “summer melt”, we expect to end close to our October 1st plan of 1,568 freshmen and 169 new transfers. Our financial aid picture for incoming students looks good at this point. Although we made more money available in initial packaging to accepted students, both in need-based and non-need based aid, our tuition discount rate for paid freshmen and transfers is presently equivalent to last year’s rate at this time (33.0% vs. 33.1%).
The staffs of all our enrollment services offices (Admission, Bursar, Financial Aid, Institutional Research, and Registrar), together with the staff of Information Technology Services, are to be commended for their efforts this past year in continuing to meet our enrollment goals while implementing the comprehensive new SCT Banner student information system nicknamed Homer. Phase I of the implementation plan will be complete by fall for all areas except Residence Life, following which all offices will begin a period of system refinements in Phase II.