The admissions department has received a surge in undergraduate admissions applications for the upcoming school year.
In 1994, the admissions department received a record 977 applications by the year’s end, but this year they have already received 980 applications and still expect 150 to 200 more, according to Vice President of Admissions Julie Richardson. As a whole, applications are up 68 percent.
While Richardson attributed the increase in applications for the 2003/20004 school year to the California budget crisis and its effect on state and UC schools, she said that those issues don’t seem to be what’s driving the increased interest in Mills this school year.
Richardson credits the recent increase in applications to the launch of a proactive marketing campaign that she said has streamlined the application process. Some of the new features include a trimmed down three-week decision process, and the waiver of the essay and application fee.
The new application was sent out to 10,000 prospective students. Applicants now have the option to file their application online, which is how 80 percent of the applications returned were submitted.
Richardson also feels that current Mills students, especially hostesses for overnight visits, deserve credit in showing incoming freshwomen a glimpse of life at Mills. She said that the most recent overnight was the largest and most successful in the last 10 years.
Richardson’s goal for next year is to add 20 new students, bringing the total of incoming freshwomen to 264. She hopes to have 800 undergraduate students enrolled by the year 2007.
“We’re doing a better job getting the word out,” Richardson said. I’m feeling comfortable that we’re on track in meeting our goals, something my predecessors can’t say.”
Richardson said that the growth plan for Mills was predicated on increased enrollment and said students shouldn’t see any surprise tuition increases.
Some professors, like Dr. Melinda Micco, are concerned about whether the increase in students will lead to an increase in resources. Micco said there always are a large number of students in her Introduction to Ethnic Studies class because its one of the college’s required courses, but she said the department can’t offer another section of the class because they don’t have enough faculty and staff to support another increase in students.
Richardson, however, said that the English department has already been discussing the possibility of offering more sections of classes.
Karen Maggio, assistant vice president for Housing Management and Dining Services, said that Mary Morse Hall will be reopening and that additional parking will be added near Larsen House.
Maggio said, “We certainly have enough space to accommodate students and we’re excited to have them.”