Clark Applications Up an ‘Astounding’ 29 Percent
Saturday, March 23, 2013
As students begin to gear up for fall 2013, the picture of Clark’s upcoming freshman class is coming with good news. This year’s increase is the highest number of undergraduate applications in Clark’s history.
As of Feb. 11, Clark had received 5,545 applications for fall first-year admissions. At the end of last year’s cycle, 4,297 applications had been received.
Early indications also suggest that the academic quality of the applicant pool remains strong.
Donald Honeman, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, attributes much of this remarkable increase to the Clark’s new SAT/ACT test optional policy, as well as Clark’s award-winning admissions materials.
The University’s realignment under the (Liberal Education and Effective Practice) LEEP model and LEEP initiatives such as the LEEP Scholarships, which offer full tuition plus room and board for up to 10 new Clark students, also attracted prospective students and their families.
“The promise and practice of LEEP at Clark is resonating with families looking for not only an exemplary liberal education but for an education that very directly launches graduates on a career and life path,” said Clark President, David Angel. “The promise and practice of LEEP at Clark is resonating with families looking for not only an exemplary liberal education but for an education that very directly launches graduates on a career and life path.”
While the economic downturn, public concern over student debt, and cultural shifts regarding the promise of higher education have reduced expectations for many institutions, Clark is seeing the benefits of at least three years of intensified admissions activities and highly strategic marketing efforts.
Honeman also acknowledges the impact of an accumulation of several years of University-wide efforts that included focused recruitment outside of the Northeast corridor, active engagement with college counselors at selected high schools, and the construction of the new visitors center that hosts programs featuring creative presentations by “one of the most talented admissions staffs and student ambassador groups you’ll find anywhere in the country.”
“The reality is that there’s no magic bullet,” Honeman says. “All of these things together have added up to Clark’s strong results. Notwithstanding, a 29 percent increase is remarkable no matter what the causes.”
Clark VP of Marketing and Communications Paula David notes that, “just 20 months into a five-year strategic plan, the University’s recent admission-cycle spike in applications indicates that Clark is responding to the needs of the marketplace. We’ve listened to what employers, students and families are saying.”
The Class of 2017 is the first to be recruited fully under the LEEP model, David notes. “Clark has been renowned as a college that changes lives. Now it is being seen as a transformative force in higher education.”
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