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Applicant numbers higher than last year

Bill Gates’ visit to Concordia just may be the extra push prospective students need to send in their deposits before the May 1 deadline.

Steve Schuetz, vice president of Enrollment at Concordia, said that events such as Gates’ visit serve as another way to get the Concordia name into potential students’ ears.

“It raises awareness of the Concordia name,” Schuetz said.

If prospective students are interested, he said, they have most likely already heard the college’s name. However, the more times it’s mentioned and referred to in different contexts, the more likely the students are to investigate Concordia further, he said.

Gates’ visit comes just days before the National Candidate Reply Date on May 1. This deadline is a day colleges use as a cutoff for refundable deposits for the incoming students. After May 1, accepted students can still send in their deposits, but they are non-refundable.

Schuetz said that throughout the past year, the overall number of applications Concordia received was higher than last year. This did not come as a surprise to Schuetz.

“We looked at our communication flow (for reaching out to prospective students) and changed our strategy,” Schuetz said.

In addition to revamping their communication flow, Concordia also worked on getting new publications and messaging out to potential students earlier than in the past. The initial emphasis of the messages sent was based on the experiences offered during their time on campus as well as the outcomes of a Concordia education.

The increase in applications resulted in more admitted students than last year, Schuetz said.

Now, it’s a waiting game to see by how many.

Jasi O’Connor, director of Residence Life at Concordia, said that the incoming class’ numbers will not be solidified until mid to late August. Residence Life is planning on an occupancy level similar to this year, however, some changes may stem from next year’s sophomore class being a noticeably smaller class, O’Connor said.

If changes do need to be made to accommodate the smaller sophomore class, O’Connor said they are prepared to close two female floors, but nothing is definite until they have specific numbers from the incoming students.

Nathalie Rinehardt, assistant director of Student Involvement, said that there is one definite change happening for next year’s student body. The student activity fund, which has been set at $210 for the past four academic years, will increase to $214.

This decision was made not necessarily based on predicted enrollment, she said, but instead due to the increase in the number of student organizations on campus and their requests for money.

“Student organizations started to feel the pinch this year,” Rinehardt said.

The number of student organizations present on campus does not necessarily change with enrollment, nor does it affect what they request money for, such as experiential opportunities.

“There is no way to predict the number of students participating in organizations,” Rinehardt said. “It’s all based on the activity level on campus.”

Although the participation in organizations fluctuates year to year and is not directly impacted by enrollment, the organizations’ funding is affected. Fewer students result in less money coming in for student organizations to access.

After research done by the Student Involvement Council and the Student Business Office, the small increase in the activity fee was proposed to the Board of Regents and passed. This will help sustain and support the work of student organizations on campus next year.

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