During this pandemic, students are still preparing to enroll in college despite the changes in their everyday lives. The Admissions Office is using this change to explore other methods to connect with students.
The pandemic is having an impact on enrollment at Baldwin Wallace. The admission office picked up on differences in enrollment from Fall of 2019 to Fall 2020.
Mr. Scott Schulz, Vice President for Enrollment Management says there was only a drop of half a percent in enrollment from last Fall until this Fall.
“Across the country 16% fewer first year incoming high school graduates are going to college other than in previous years,” he said.
For BW to only be down a half percent was really phenomenal, Schulz said.
The incoming first year students were highly qualified because they had the highest incoming GPA that BW has ever had, Schulz said, they came in at a 3.64 average.
BW’s incoming first years are a very diverse, academically qualified class, Schulz said.
“26% of our incoming students identify as students of color,” said Schulz “34% of our students are first generation.”
There was an increase in the number of local students and there was about the same number of out of state students as the previous year, Schulz said, it was anticipated it would happen with the pandemic that students would want to be closer to home.
Even though the pandemic brought challenges for everyone it also brought new opportunities, according to Joyce Cendroski, Director of Undergraduate Admissions.
“We create a good plan every year and spend the year working the plan,” said Cendroski.
The Admissions Office provides great customer service and makes it a priority to respond to students and parents in a timely manner, Cendroski said.
The most helpful strategy for the Admissions Office during this pandemic was the switch to online recruitment, according to Schulz, this has been a strategy talked about for some time; however, the pandemic has given the Admissions Office an opportunity to start this process.
Virtual outreach has become useful to get in touch with students and parents to schedule appointments to provide them with information that they are seeking rather it is over via zoom or any other remote conferencing service. According to Cendroski, virtual outreach is something the Admissions Office plans on continuing even after the pandemic.
“The Admissions office can be the window or the door to the university,” said Cendroski.
The Admissions Office is providing a lot of personal attention to make sure students and their family’s needs are met, Cendroski said. Some of these changes would include not being able to see Counseling Services, go on big tours, or have overnight visits. According to Cendroski, many families are remaining cautious and mindful of the pandemic going on while they develop a plan for their students to go to college.
Despite all of the new beginnings this pandemic has caused, the BW Admissions Office is looking to continue to use this as an opportunity to connect with potential BW students and families virtually.