Enrollment reaches awaited increase: New student population includes large number of student athletes

 

The 2016-2017 school year brings enrollment rates that Malone has not seen in years. The new, traditional student count for 2016 was almost 400 students, a 25% increase from last year’s 300. The rise in enrollment numbers is not shocking, but instead it is a result of diligent work across campus.

Tim Bryan, vice president of marketing and university relations, believes the increase in general enrollment was a group effort and victory.

“We brought more names into the beginning of the top of the funnel. We marketed to more students outside of the region of Northeast Ohio. Also, we were more intentional in terms of marketing to students who have an affinity for a Christian education through our church outreach programs,” said Bryan. “Finally, we put an additional focus on marketing to majors. We created academic major sheets, which described our academic programs.”

Aside from these specific strategies, Bryan saw how the faculty and staff impacted recruitment.

Softball players help freshmen move into their residence hall in Woolman 2 South (Photo courtesy of residence life Instagram @wwf4lyfe).
Softball players help freshmen move into their residence hall in Woolman 2 South (Photo courtesy of residence life Instagram @wwf4lyfe).

 

“Everyone contributed.  We had more faculty and staff involved and engaged [in] visit and focus days. It’s a partnership between all of the departments,” Bryan said.

If this increase continues, Bryan believes Malone can expect some changes.

“I don’t think it will change the nature of the small intimate environment because we are still going to be a small school, but at the same time I think it will be a more robust residential experience,” Bryan said.“There will be more activities and engagement just [by] having more students in classes. It will make Malone more financially stable and will enhance the student experience.”

Not only are more students on campus, but the student body composition has changed as a result.

Chelsea Perry, admissions counselor for athletes, reported that 58% of new students this year are student athletes.

“Athletic enrollment has increased due to the coaches and the fact that they added more athletes to their rosters,” Perry said. “Coaches saw a need for an increase in enrollment and they went after it. We were recruiting students all the way up until two days before classes starting.”

Linda Hoffman, Director of Admissions, seeks to continue the overall increase next year.

“Rarely do you get a situation where you’re doing a great job and then you don’t have to work as hard the next year. Now we will look to do more,” Hoffman said.

The hard work has already begun in the admissions office.

“We are going to continue to look for finding small pockets of opportunity. We are trying to tap into pockets of opportunity and work with the contact person [for each opportunity] and work together to get more kids involved on campus.”

 

Chad Mallory is a contributing writer for The Aviso

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