Admissions, Retention and Financial Aid Committee
Minutes of the November 8, 2006 ARFAC Meeting
Members present: Amundson, Freedman-Gurspan, McClanahan, Porterfield, Ruby, Strichartz, Vigen, and Pope
- The minutes from the meeting held on October 11, 2006 were approved.
- Pope spoke about Minnesota Private College Week. This event that is held during the last week of June brought over 600 prospective students, parents and family members to St. Olaf this past year. St. Olaf College led the other private colleges in Minnesota with the number of visitors.
- In addition to MN Private College week, Pope reported on the MEA Days. These are specially designated days that occur during the days of the Minnesota Educators Association Conference when students do not traditionally have classes. This year we added three additional preview days: Columbus Day, the Friday after Columbus Day, and October 27th. There were approximately 78 students per day and they arrived from 12 states. He felt that we achieved our goal for these recruitment days. Overall, we had 111 more students visit campus in the fall of 2006 over fall 2005.
- For 2007, Pope indicated that St. Olaf College would have four official visit days. This change is, in part, attributed to the demands put on the admissions staff versus the benefits of having more days. They will divide the potential students into two groups: 1) Juniors, who will take part in group sessions and a lunch, and 2) Seniors, who will have the option of individual appointments with faculty.
- Pope talked about the trends in applications for this fall, indicating how the ratio of applicants, female to male, is about the same as last year. Moreover, he mentioned that the ACT scores and GPA remain constant.
- With regards to Financial Aid and deadlines, the Admissions and FA staff are working to modify the perceptions about deadlines in order to understand that these dates are firm, holding applicants accountable for making sure that all materials are submitted in a timely fashion. With the new SIS system, the process will be more streamlined and, hopefully, more effective.
- Pope indicated that applications for “early decision” are up this fall and it is likely that there will be no “mid-year” admissions.
- Pope and Ruby referenced our desire to be constantly aware of “need sensitivity” when dealing with prospective students and financial aid. Also, they commented on how we work to achieve balance between outstanding applicants and the desire to diversify – in different areas – our student population.
- The members talked about issues surrounding diversity among our student population. As a part of this goal, it was mentioned that the college should attempt to recruit a more diverse faculty as well.
- Faculty members voiced interest in learning how best they can help achieve the goals of a more diverse student population and with the admissions process in general. This topic was tentatively put on the agenda for future meetings. During our next meeting, members will discuss the article, “The Professor’s Role in Admissions,” from the Chronicle of Higher Education (10/16/06).
- The meeting adjourned at 4:20 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for December 6, 2006 at 3:10 p.m.