Something interesting is happening at Mary Baldwin University. In the face of a weak national economy, the college is seeing a record increase in freshman applications this year.
The college has already received more applications for the incoming class of fall 2010 (2,164) than it did for freshman entering in 2009 (2,145). Mary Baldwin’s “rolling” schedule means that applications will continue to be accepted for several months. If the trend continues — and it is expected to — Mary Baldwin expects to record a 25-30% increase in applications.
Other selective colleges and universities are also seeing record increases this year. At Johns Hopkins University application submissions have grown 13% over last year, at University of Richmond, 9%, and at Washington and Lee University has seen a 6% increase.
Many experts attribute the rise in application numbers at these larger schools to an increase in financial aid available to incoming students. While Mary Baldwin continues to offer competitive aid packages for its students, Mary Baldwin administrators and admissions officers believe that the experiences students gain while at this college are even more important.
“We are seeing more applications not just as a result of more financial aid, but because we are delivering a relevant educational experience that prepares young women to be successful in the world,” said Andy Modlin, executive director of enrollment management.
Programs that emphasize global awareness and service to the community are a distinctive asset for Mary Baldwin, according to Brenda Bryant, senior vice president for enrollment and administration and dean of students. “Mary Baldwin’s long tradition of service is valued by today’s teens. They are embracing the belief that women can change the world.”