2C - The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition - Fall 2004
ADMISSIONS CHANGESCUSEDY~THE r UPRF IE. 4UR, 3 ET."'
Incoming freshman class could be largest ever
June 1, 2004
By Afson Go
Daily Staff Writer
Although the number of undergraduate appli-
cations that the University has received is down
18 percent from last year, administrators have
several reasons to remain optimistic about the
quality and quantity of students from the incom-
ing freshman class.
In spite of significant changes made to the
admissions process, "the interest in the Universi-
ty is higher than we thought and better than
expected," Director of Undergraduate Admis-
sions Ted Spencer said.
According to a statement released Thursday,
despite the decreased applications, the number of
enrollment deposits that the admissions office
has received is up by 8 percent - 6,571 deposits
compared to 6,060 from last year. The number of
paid enrollment deposits is the best gauge of
class size in the fall at this time of the year.
If this trend continues, the University
expects to yield a larger total than their fresh-
man enrollment target of 5,545. Last year's
enrollment was 5,511.
Spencer described the incoming class as "one
of the largest enrollments we've ever had," and
called the quality of the incoming class "as
strong as other years and perhaps even stronger."
Quality refers to the overall student enrollment
average of high school grades, standardized test
scores and class ranking, Spencer said. The pro-
jected large influx of students has other depart-
ments at the University anticipating changes for
the next academic year.
An increase in enrollment is "always a variable
(housing contends) with in the summer," Director
of Housing Public Affairs Alan Levy said. "It
may be more pronounced this year."
While numbers for housing applications are
even more preliminary than enrollment, Levy
said the department already has contingency
plans for student overflow, which include perma-
nent and temporary housing. The University
guarantees housing to every first-year student
who applies before the deadline.
Last year, housing ran at over 100 percent
capacity for female living quarters and, to com-
pensate, converted pre-designated lounges with
all amenities, such as a phone and Ethernet, into
rooms. Levy said similar actions may be taken
for a larger-than-predicted enrollment this year.
"As the numbers firm up, we'll know one way
or another," Levy said.
Levy also intends to allow students returning
to housing to drop their contracts without penal-
ty. Normally, a voided contract would incur
charges to the student.
Similarly, schools such as the College of Liter-
ature, Science, and the Arts and Engineering are
making plans to open additional course sections
as needed, and student services such as orienta-
tion will be adjusted to accommodate a larger
incoming class, University spokeswoman Julie
"We are doing everything we need to do, so
when students arrive in the fall, they will have the
classes they want to take and space to live in the
campus area," Spencer said. "Plans are underway
to accommodate our students, and we are going
to make sure they have a quality experience
while they're here."
The University also reports that applications
from underrepresented minority students are
down 21 percent - 3 percent more than the total
Peterson said the discrepancy between all stu-
dents and underrepresented minorities is a result
See ADMISSIONS, Page IOC
Black student enrollment
declines for second year
Changes in freshman enrollment
by ethnicity over the past 3 years
Number of students from
abroad down 12 percent
number of students (by hundreds)
October 22, 2003
iy Jesmy Berkowtz
P)aly Staff Writer
Although the University's general enrollment
increased to a record 39,031 students this fall,
freshman enrollment of black students fell for the
second consecutive year.
The overall number of freshmen rose by 366 stu-
Ilents, but new statistics released yesterday show
-black students now make up 7.6 percent of fresh-
men, down from 8.9 percent last year and 9.4 per-
cent in 2001. In addition, the percentage of
Hispanic freshmen declined from a peak of 6.1 per-
cent in 2002 to 4.8 percent this autumn.
But Senior Vice Provost Lester Monts said these
patterns are nothing unusual, given past experience.
"We experience fluctuations in one or more of
the race/ethnicity categories every year. There are
so many variables to consider, which makes it diffi-
cult to say exactly why these changes occur,"
Monts said, adding that enrollment figures vary
depending on annual demographics and applicant
But Monts acknowledged that the Universi-
ty's involvement in two national lawsuits last
year regarding its race-conscious admissions
policies might have discouraged some students
The U.S. Supreme Court in June struck down the
former undergraduate point system, which granted
20 points to every underrepresented minority. The
University revamped its application process in
August to allow for more creative ways to find out
about a candidate's past and experiences. The
admissions office added more essays, asking appli-
cants to discuss the importance of diversity and tell
about their experiences.
While student leaders have expressed concern
that high school students would not be able to
answer these questions due to lack of experience
with diversity, Monts said the admissions office is
making extra efforts this year to assist high school
students and guidance counselors.
"The admissions staff participates in admissions
fairs and other recruiting activities all over the
nation at which time the new process is explained,"
Monts said. "The staff in the Office of Undergrad-
uate Admissions conducts workshops for individual
high schools and districts on our new policies and
the application process."
In February, former University President James
Duderstadt said in an interview that he thought
the University should focus more on direct
recruitment efforts to bring minorities to campus,
in addition to considering race in admissions. He
mentioned his own agenda, "The Michigan Man-
date," which he implemented during his presiden-
cy from 1988 to 1996.
"The Michigan Mandate focused on outreach
into various population centers, high schools, mid-
dle schools, providing financial support, academic
support (and) changing the campus culture to
embrace diversity as necessary for excellence,"
Duderstadt said. "President (Lee) Bollinger chose
to go in somewhat a different direction, so many of
those programs were dismantled."
Monts also said that the rising cost of tuition
might deter potential students, but added the Uni-
versity continues to emphasize financial aid in
The University's population is at an all-time high
with increases in most schools, in a year when the
University took a 10 percent budget cut from the
state. But University spokeswoman Julie Peterson
said enrollment management is a "complicated
process," and schools base their annual enrollment
targets on a number of issues.
22 10/ 4.% ~ 20
S %8/ 11.3%
~ 439 7.9% 0 2001
+ 220/ 4.0% 2002
a C 189/ 3.6%
"- 220/ 4.0%
"I don't see the budget situation causing schools
to shrink the size of their enrollment," Peterson
said. "I don't see colleges saying, 'first and fore-
most, let's cut our enrollment.' "
The University noticed significant growth in
several colleges including the schools of Educa-
tion and Nursing. Education saw a jump from
611 students to 662 students. Nursing numbers
went from 815 to 841. Peterson said she believes
this may be due to shortages in both fields.
Administrators from both colleges did not return
phone calls yesterday.
The study also showed a 2 percent growth in
international students. But Peterson noted the
growth was less than in previous years, due to
stricter visa regulations.
Although more than 4,000 international
students are currently on campus, the Univer-
sity has seen a 12 percent decrease in interna-
tional student applications this year.
University administrators say the decrease
is a result of tightened U.S. security and chal-
lenges with immigration paperwork since
The University is losing international stu-
dents to England, France and other European
countries because there are fewer travel
restrictions than in the United States, Interna-
tional Center Director Rodolfo Altamirano
"The past couple of years, we have been
working double time and triple time to com-
pensate for the new regulations," he said.
MBA student Matthieu Gamier said he has
noticed that applications from students in
Europe to schools in the United States has
"dropped dramatically" from last year.
"I think it has something to do with the
economy but also because it's harder to get a
visa, and there's more paperwork," said Gar-
nier, who was born in France.
International students must be especially
careful when filling out their visa forms,
"One wrong move could terminate or
deactivate their visa," he said.
Students must meet requirements and
make sure that their passports are valid, or
they could be deemed unlawful, Altamirano
said. He said while most international stu-
dents are not deported, paperwork errors can
complicate the process of obtaining or renew-
February 17, 2004
By Meissa Benton
Daily Staff Writer
ing a visa.
In order to have a valid student visa, under-
graduates must take at least 12 credits at a
time, a graduate student must take eight cred-
its and a doctoral student must have at least
six credits. In addition, international students
are not allowed to work more than 20 hours
"For our international students, there are so
many hindrances to come to the U.S.,"
International students at the University said
they have noticed changes under new security
"Before 9/11, it used to be fine to travel
back and forth. But now just by looking at
our last name (immigration officials) check
us," LSA sophomore and India native
Aparnaa Bhatt said.
One of students' biggest fears is going
home and not being able to get back into the
United States. Because background checks
for a visa can take up to six months, interna-
tional students could miss the first semester
of school if they experience problems with
"I'm not as influenced as other people
because I have a visa here, but I know other
people who could not get a visa and people
who are scared to go back to their own coun-
try, because they don't know if they'll be able
to come back," said Business School student
Ning Lu, who is from China.
The International Center helps students fill
out immigration forms and tries to make
them feel more comfortable while they're at
the University, Altamirano said.
"We want to show them that we are a home
away from home. We are caring and we want
to help them and serve them," he added.
'U': New essay requirements may
be cause of drop in applications
April 21, 2004
By Donn M. Fresard
Daily Staff Writer
An across-the-board decrease in undergraduate applica-
tions to the University this year may have been caused by
reluctance on the part of high school students to write the
extra essays included in the new application, according to
a preliminary admissions report.
The LSA application, which the University implement-
ed at the beginning of this school year after the U.S.
Supreme Court forced it to revise its point-
based, race-conscious policies, includes a
set of three essays designed so that appli-
cants provide more information about their
While the current admissions cycle is
not yet over, preliminary data released by
the Office of Undergraduate Admissions
indicate significant drops this year in
applications. The number of total applica-
tions received as of March 30 was 18 per-
cent lower than the number received by the
same date last year, and applications from underrepresent-
ed minorities decreased 20 percent over the same period.
The number of accepted students, meanwhile,
dropped 3.5 percent, while minority admissions
decreased 11 percent.
According to a background report on undergraduate
admissions released by
the administration, the T
new application's exten- Ihe nUmbers
sive essay portion may
have discouraged some
students from applying Llnd'iVaduate ppflca
to the University. The As of March 30, the tota
administration reasons percent lower than last yea
that because the new
application is relatively M Applications from underr
time-intensive, students decreased 20 percent.
for whom the University
was not a first- or sec- N The number of accepted
ond-choice school may while minority admissions e
have decided that the
added effort was not The University blames th
School & Academy also reported a 14 percent drop in
applications to the University this year, based on a Jan. 5
preliminary report from the University's admissions
office. Lynn Rinke, the college counseling secretary at
that school, said the report indicated that 67 of its students
had applied to the University as of Jan. 5, compared to 78
by the same date last year.
But despite the declining numbers, University officials
maintain that the group of students applying to the Uni-
versity remains just as strong as in previous years.
Prospective students who are likely to attend the Uni-
versity seem to be largely unaffected by the
new application. According to the back-
ground admissions report, paid enrollment
deposits have increased slightly since last
year. In addition, this year's enrollment for
Campus Day - a spring tour of University
facilities, which, according to the report, is
attended by the students who are most like-
ly to enroll - is currently running at 97
percent of last year's number, which was
the highest in the University's history.
Nancy Siegel, a guidance counselor at
Millburn High School in New Jersey, said she sees "better
than 20 applications a year" to the University, and that the
new application has not affected that number.
"Kids at Millburn consider Michigan a public Ivy,"
Siegel said. "(The new application) certainly doesn't have
any effect on them at all."
Still, the Universi-
ty's report concedes
o far.. that administrators are
number of applications was 18 minority students have
decreased at a greater
rate than the applicant
presented minorities pool as a whole. The
report speculates that
controversy over the
tudents dropped 3.5 percent, past year regarding
creased 11 percent. affirmative action
policies - including
extensive essay on its new last June's Supreme
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