Admissions, Retention and Financial Aid Committee (ARFAC)
Minutes of December 14, 2005 meeting
Submitted by Steven Amundson
Members present: Steve Amundson, Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, Katie Hellen, Jerry Pope, Jean Porterfield, Steve Reece, Ariel Strichartz, and Milyon Trulove.
- The new members of the committee were introduced and welcomed: student Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, and the new Director of Admissions, Jerry Pope. We also welcomed Milyon Trulove, Associate Director of Admissions, who came to this meeting to present an Admissions update on the class of 2010.
- The committee approved the minutes of the November, 2005 meeting as submitted.
- Announcements: Steve Reece reminded us that President Thomforde emailed the faculty and staff encouraging letters to Congress encouraging them not to cut funding for higher education. Steve reminded the committee to examine the web format and give reactions to those who have designed it, and mentioned we should share thoughts about, and reactions to the admissions printed materials (brochures, application materials, etc.).
- Admissions Report: Milyon Trulove made a presentation about the current status of the class of 2010. Highlights from this report include:
–as of the meeting today (12-14), 93 early decision applicants have been accepted. This is nine more than last year at this time.
–We received 20 more early decision applications this year compared with last year.
–The class profile is slightly improved from last year (higher GPAs)
–Overall numbers of applications are up compared with a year ago, for instance there were 2,092 early action applicants this year compared with 1,791 last year.
–Gender balance is more favorable than last year.
–Multi-cultural student applicants are about even with last year, but the projected number that will be admitted and enrolled will likely be improved from last year.
–Compared to last year at this time, we have doubled the number of Early Decision deposits made.
- Discussion about related topics ensued. Jerry Pope mentioned that the use of the Early Decision admission process as a philosophical enrollment tool is becoming a less popular trend nationally. St. Olaf has struck a good balance in its use of Early Decision as a means for recruitment and enrollment, and Jerry Pope mentioned that Admissions will likely try to grow the numbers of the Early Decision pool in the future. At this time, Admissions is working hard to be sure its Early Action applicants have completed their applications, and this is going very well. Milyon noted that Minnesota is near the bottom nationally in terms of the ratio of high school guidance counselors to the number of students they serve. This affects students’ abilities to complete their applications in a timely manner. Further discussion was held on various facets of Early Decision, Early Action, and Regular Admissions including deadlines.
- Calendar. Upcoming admissions-related events include the Junior Days on January 16 and February 20, 8:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Faculty are encouraged to participate. In particular, faculty are invited to attend the luncheons at 12:30 –1:30 in Buntrock. Scholar’s Day, for the class of 2009, is set for March 4. We were reminded of the importance of faculty involvement with interviews. About 150 students will be invited and about 100 will attend.
- Other items of discussion:
– Admissions visits: Seniors must be given first priority regarding visits with faculty.
– Advertising: Importance of tracking everything that’s done so we know what works.
– Webpage for college: The new format is in place. Concerns were shared about who makes decisions about the college’s web pages. It’s important to get campus-wide feedback.
– The structure of the Office of Admissions was reviewed. Concerns were addressed regarding the length of service of the Admissions staff considering the recent turnover in that office. It was made clear that there are advantages of greater longevity of those working in Admissions, and Jerry Pope emphasized that this is one of his long-term goals as the Director of Admissions.
- The next meeting was set for Feb. 8, at 3:30 p.m. Location TBA. (Later, this meeting was scheduled for a week later, Feb. 15, at the same time.)