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Ohio Wesleyan's Student Applicant Pool Up by Over Twenty Percent

April 21, 2006

  The Admission and Financial Aid Team.

DELAWARE, OHIO — The increase in Ohio Wesleyan University's current prospective student applicant pool—up by more than 20 percent over last year—is a good example of what targeted messaging, responsiveness, and ongoing communication with students and their families can do. "We have received 3,500 freshman applications—domestic and international—which is a 23 percent increase,' says Carol DelPropost, assistant vice president of admission and financial aid, adding that the increase is an important factor in shaping the incoming class of students. In addition, transfer student applications have increased by 70 percent, or 30 students. Delpropost anticipates that with the admittance at a much lower rate than that of several years ago, we will bring in a class of 565 new Ohio Wesleyan freshmen."We strategized about how to increase the [application] pool,' says DelPropost, pointing to improvements in the crafting of messages to students as key in that strategy. The answer was found in targeted messaging, responsiveness, and ongoing communication with students and families."We tell them what they need to know about OWU, and also highlight our many distinguishing characteristics and how each student benefits,' she explains. The outcome of communicating with 3,500 high school applicants whose college aspirations include Ohio Wesleyan is an increase in selectivity as well as better market positioning for the University.Today's prospective college students—and their families—want to know as much as they can about the schools to which they are applying. It is a significant investment. And students want to carefully assess their fit with colleges and universities they are considering. DelPropost uses OWU's annual Slice of College Life Day as an example."We are having more visits each year, mostly because families want to know and experience life on campus,' she says. "They want to make sure it is the right fit and investment.' And these students are applying to an average of six to eight colleges, and sometimes, as many as 15.Going hand-in-hand with OWU's increase in applications, are the stellar efforts and endless energy of members of the college community—staff, faculty and students—who always are ready to proudly share the strengths and successes of an Ohio Wesleyan educational experience."With all of this good enthusiasm, solid strategic planning and OWU's considerable program and teaching strengths, we have a great story to share,' says DelPropost.As the May 1 national candidates reply date approaches, OWU's admission and financial aid staff members remain both vigilant and visible in the lives of admitted students."This isn't a time for us to sit and wait for the mail to come in,' she says. Through phone calling, instant messaging, visiting and e-mailing students and families who have last-minute questions and need a kind word or two during stressful times, OWU's presence is there."Each of our outreach activities asks for students to answer or do something and to respond to us,' says DelPropost. "We hear frequently from families about how caringly we work with them.'

Excitement is in the air in "Bishop country', as all await the results of a successful application year and collective efforts that made it all happen!