Mills College has set an enrollment record this year with 948 undergraduates attending Mills, pushing the school closer to the campus’ goal of 1,000 undergraduates, according to statistics collected by David Gin, associate vice president for Student Financial and Administrative Services.
“We have [a] record head count so far,” said Gin, “I would say Mills is doing very well on enrollment.”
According to the Fall 2007 Final Census, 330 out of 948 undergraduates are freshwomen, transfers and pre-nursing students. 185 of the 330 students are freshwomen. Enrollment has surged since 2004, when the number of incoming students was as low as 254 students.
Graduate enrollment has also increased significantly with a total of 506 graduates, 237 of which are entering students, according to Carol Langlois, the newly appointed dean of graduate admissions.
“The goal was about 500 to 550 according to our strategic plan through 2007 so this is the first time we’ve made it over the 500 count,” said Langlois.
This year’s incoming undergraduate class is more ethnically diverse than the last, with 49% identifying as students of color. Last year 46% identified as students of color.
Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Giulietta Aquino said that interest in Mills has risen over the years. “We’ve received positive media coverage about Mills and we’ve also been implementing some recruitment strategies,” she said. “There’s a lot to offer – excellent financial aid packages, good leadership and our students are passionate about the College and I think that’s evident during school tours.”
Mills’ recruitment strategies include looking at which schools students enroll from and recruiting others from those areas. The College also develops relationships with school counselors and provides campus programs to promote the College.
One such program is a partnership with the Mills College Department of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation (APER). On Oct. 28, Mills student athletes took a tour of San Francisco and hosted prospective students interested in specific sports.
The number of students enrolling at Mills has increased since 1990, when the legendary protest by Mills women forced the College to revoke its decision to go coeducational. The initial decision was a result of financial instability, due to a low enrollment of 777 undergraduates. According to a 2006 Mills Weekly article, the chairman of the Board of Trustees at the time, Warren Hellman, stated that the College would need to shoot for 1,000 undergraduates if the school wanted to remain a women’s college.
Now, the proposed strategic plan for the future will be looking at increasing the undergraduate population to 1,000 to 1100 in the next five years.
“We look forward to recruiting, admitting and enrolling a qualified class of students each and every year,” said Aquino. “It’s a community effort to bring students to Mills and I appreciate what our students, staff and alumnae are doing for the College.”