by Katherine Wroblewski
As many have probably noticed, this past summer Millsaps began renovations on student common spaces in the dormitories, the HAC and the admissions building. This was all part of the college’s new strategic plan to garner higher admission rates than in years past. The new recruitment strategies have already proven to be extremely successful.
Dr. Robert Alexander, the vice president for enrollment and communications, credits a boost in admissions to two main strategies: being as aggressive as possible in external outreach and streamlining the college’s internal operations. An aggressive external outreach entails contacting thousands of high-school sophomores and juniors; not just high school seniors as was the previous method. The latter refers being able to respond quickly to applicants, keep track of applications and status, and being able to trust the integrity of the data that the college is provided concerning the students.
Alexander is very excited about the successful results that these strategies have yielded. “We have dramatically increased the number of applications submitted,” he said. “We are at an all-time record for Millsaps.” In addition, Millsaps has been able to dramatically increase its response time. The college has already admitted double the number of students that it admitted this last year, in addition to doubling the number of students who have already committed and made their deposit to matriculate at Millsaps fall 2014.
While the college is working toward a larger incoming freshman class than this past year, Alexander emphasizes that, “we are trying to grow the class, but not decrease the academic quality of incoming students.”
In addition, Millsaps encourages current students to engage with prospective students from their hometowns. Alumni are also encouraged to get involved, with 56 events around the region having alumni representatives this past year.
The goal for this upcoming freshman class is 225 students, compared to last year’s 171 students. Despite the fact that the college has an early lead on admissions compared to past years and has seen great results, the hard work that has gone into these strategies needs to continue until the May 1 deposit deadline. Between now and then, there are still many visit programs to the college and receptions in admitted students’ hometowns, which will hopefully continue well into the summer.
The admissions department urges students to host prospective students and to help share with them first-hand experiences from the college. And in return, admission will be hosting an all-campus ’80s themed party in conjunction with student life April 11; a different weekend than Major Madness.