Undergraduate Applications Double in One Year

St. Scholastica's Student Newspaper
The Cable
By: Jimmy Lovrien  - Student Journalist -

Out of state marketing agency draws more inquires to CSS

Undergraduate applications to the College of Saint Scholastica jumped from 1,500 to 3,300 in the last year, according to Eric Berg, Vice President for Enrollment Management for the college.

Berg voiced enthusiasm for the higher numbers, hoping next fall's traditional undergraduate enrollment will rise as result, "CSS administration and our board of trustees believe that our enrollment "sweet spot" is between 2,000 and 2,200 total undergraduates on the main campus," he said.

The amount of undergraduates on the Duluth campus fell to 1,889 for the 2014 spring semester, slightly below the preferred minimum of 2,000 students. CSS President Larry Goodwin referred to the figure as "under budget" in his mid-year address last month.

In order to hit the "sweet spot" of 2,000-2,200 total undergraduate students, the college has implemented the help of Royall & Company, a Virginia based college marketing company responsible for increasing the number of students who "inquire and apply" to CSS. Preliminary data shows there has been twice as many inquiries and applications compared to last year at that time as a result of these efforts.

Berg further detailed the college's use of the marketing agency, "Royall is a company that specializes in helping colleges like CSS increase their market penetration and application volume. With their company's ability to scale up on the volume of contacts and their approach to achieving application increases, we were able to purchase more prospect names and then let Royall go after them for applications."

Berg set a goal for the number of students in next year's incoming freshman class: 475 students for the start of the 2014 fall semester. For comparison, there were 433 traditional freshmen in the fall of 2013.

Currently, the deposits--or students committed to attending Scholastica in the fall 2014--are 371, up from 307 committed students at this time last year

But, as Berg stated, the influx of applications has not altered the college's acceptance rate, which he says is typically around 84%, "We have not made it easier to gain acceptance to CSS."

"In fact," he added, "on the lower end of our accepted pool, those students whose academic profile is a bit weaker, we have made it more difficult to be accepted."