At a time when some colleges and universities are struggling to meet their enrollment goals—and a few are even closing their doors—Longwood experienced a 3 percent increase in applications and welcomed its largest freshman class in history this fall.
About 1,115 freshmen began their studies at Longwood on Aug. 26, said Dean of Admissions Sallie McMullin. That’s an 8 percent increase over last year’s freshman class of 1,036, and a 4 percent increase over the previous record-setting class of 1,074 freshmen who entered in fall 2011, she said.
"Longwood’s goal was to increase enrollment by 100 students. The increase in freshmen coupled with the slight increase in transfer students certainly contributed to the overall goal. We are optimistic that when graduate student enrollment, as well as retention numbers, are finalized we will surpass our target," McMullin said.
Another successful year in transfer student recruitment helped in reaching that goal. About 220 transfer students enrolled this fall compared with 214 last year, McMullin said, adding that this is the first time transfer enrollment has exceeded 200 two years in a row.
McMullin said the admissions staff turned up the volume this year in their recruitment efforts but also credited the entire Longwood community with working toward the 100-student increase.
"There’s not a person on this campus who doesn’t play some role in student recruitment," she said. "The Longwood team consists of faculty, staff, alumni and current students, and they are some of our best recruiters."
In addition to increasing the number of students overall, recruitment efforts targeting particular majors were successful, as well, McMullin said.
Incoming computer science majors are up 50 percent; biology majors, 17 percent; business majors, 12 percent; and liberal studies (the major for aspiring teachers), 12 percent.