New events, outside consultant contribute to increased enrollment

Party on the lawn
New events, an outside consultant and hard work by the admissions staff have led to increased enrollment this fall. (Photo by Kyle Pierce)

By Ashleigh Buchanan

If the line in Pops has seemed extra long, if it has been hard to find an open seat in chapel and even harder to find a parking spot, SNU’s increased enrollment rate is most likely the cause.

This fall, SNU has 390 new students (freshmen and transfers), bringing our total undergrad enrollment to 1,096 students. The office of admissions have made a lot of changes this past year, such as using a consulting firm and introducing two new admissions events.

One change in admissions this year has been the addition of two new events: Shine Weekend and Storm Surge.

Shine Weekend is an event for high school girls to come visit SNU’s campus for a weekend. Last February, over 100 girls stayed overnight in the dorms with current female students. They also sat in on a class of their choice, visited a young alumni in their field of choice and had a craft night and banquet night. Shine weekend was created in order to target high-achieving females who typically have better retention and pay their college deposit sooner. Girls also make their college decision sooner than guys, which is why the attendance at this event is important for all ages of high schoolers. Sarah Stocks said she believes this event was “a pivotal moment for some girls who decided to attend SNU.”

The other new event this year was Storm Surge. Admissions held three different Storm Surge events for incoming freshman. During this event, students and their parents came to SNU on a Saturday where the students received their ID cards and their fall semester schedule. The girls met at least one of their future professors, other incoming freshman and spoke with different campus departments such as student housing, the laptop center, health center and financial aid.

What made this event so unique and successful was the campus-wide involvement. The devotion of SNU’s great faculty and staff was once again apparent during Storm Surge. Admissions also noted that the faculty involvement was one component that helped make this event a success. Storm Surge was developed to decrease “melt,” which is when students commit to a university, but change their minds.

Noel-Levits is a higher education consulting firm that helps campuses achieve their goals in enrollment management and student success. Since last fall, the admissions team has weekly meetings with Noel-Levits for enrollment updates and to set realistic and attainable goals. Sarah Stocks, an admissions recruiter, said that Noel-Levits has helped admissions come up with new strategies for recruiting students and has also been a big asset in helping them set and reach goals throughout the year.

The SNU Admissions team has worked extra hard this past year to bring new students to our campus. With the addition of a consultant firm and successful new events, SNU saw increased enrollment despite the enrollment for private schools being down across the nation.

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