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Campus celebrates increased enrollment

Remember when you received that acceptance letter?

Remember when you packed up your car (or two, or three) and took off to move into your dorm?

Remember when you walked into the Caf for lunch and almost got bowled over by the crowd of people?

This year, 358 freshmen are making those same memories.

"It's the biggest class we've experienced on campus in a long time," MVNU Director of Admissions Tracy Waal said.

In fact, the MVNU admissions team is celebrating the third straight year of increased enrollment. This is particularly rewarding, Wall said, as it comes at a time when most Ohio colleges are facing enrollment declines.

MVNU also experienced that decline several years ago, and "is one of the very few that have seen an increase in recent years," he said.

This year's freshman class size ranks No. 9 all-time in University history, and boosts the overall traditional enrollment to 1,246 for the year.

Waal said the credit for this accomplishment goes to his staff, a group he described as "an extremely hard-working, devoted admissions team who truly loves MVNU and loves and invests in students."

The University has restructured its enrollment staff with Student Accounts, Financial Aid and Traditional Admissions all working together under James Smith, assistant vice president of enrollment management.

Under Smith is a a talented and loyal group of people who found a new approach to bring students to MVNU. Smith said everyone on his team believes in the power of MVNU to change lives.

"We truly believe this can and will be a place that will prepare them for the future in every way," Smith said. "My team and I work hard every day because of our passion for this place and for our students."

The admissions team has really invested in recruiting, Waal agreed. Counselors work long hours and go out of their way to form one-on-one connections with prospective students.

This year, the school also restructured the financial aid process and worked to make scholarship information available earlier in the recruitment process. New students have responded well to this change.

This change means "students had a more clear picture of what their financial aid would be, earlier in the process," Smith said.

Finally, the school has added several new programs to attract more students. Among the recent additions are an engineering major and a pre-professional degree in communication sciences and disorders, which will prepare students to pursue graduate work in speech therapy and related fields.

Expanding students' career options by offering areas of study that are in high demand will draw more students to campus, Waal said.

Another boost in enrollment came from local students who are taking post-secondary classes while still in high school. New state guidelines have expanded the opportunities for high school students to enroll in college classes.

This year, the campus welcomed 75 high school students participating in the new College Credit Plus program and taking classes full- or part-time on the MVNU campus.

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