MBU Shatters Ambitious Enrollment Goal

Mary Baldwin University will welcome its largest freshman class in history in just a few short weeks.

The university has seen a record number of prospective students deposit — right now that number is more than 400 — representing about a 230 percent increase in the number of new students from 2017–18.

It’s an increase unheard of in higher education, said MBU President Pamela R. Fox.

“I’m proud of my colleagues for this remarkable achievement and excited for those in the Class of 2022, who will join us this fall,” she said.

Rising first-years gather on campus for Summer Orientation

Faced with one of its smallest freshman classes in decades last fall, Mary Baldwin University leaders transformed the way they approached undergraduate admissions. The message, delivery, and methods were different, but the university experience — the Mary Baldwin magic — remained. The university worked to deliver the MBU message to more students who are a good fit through a streamlined application process, increased personal outreach, and new academic scholarship opportunities.

Widespread campus improvements helped bring a new MBU admissions viewbook to life, and reinforced the student-centered university culture. Spring visit days brought record-breaking crowds to MBU. While on campus, prospective students had experiences specifically designed to help them bond with their peers and Mary Baldwin faculty.

“We threw out the playbook,” said Vice President of Integrated Communications Aimee Rose. “We emphasized the student experience — the strong academics, the personal touch, the opportunity to grow on a beautiful campus — all that MBU magic that already existed. And we made undergraduate admissions everyone’s job.”


A renaissance for MBU Athletics is also a vital piece of the rebound strategy. Improvements to athletics facilities, including a new soccer field and fitness lanes, as well as robust recruitment have attracted student athletes locally and from across the country.

Another important component of this year’s enrollment success? Current students. University officials recognized that their MBU adventure — whether it was a research opportunity with a professor or a study abroad trip — personally conveyed the MBU experience to prospective students. And with more robust enrollment comes more opportunity for all students.

New students will arrive on campus the week of August 27; classes begin September 3.