Dear Members of the Saint Mary's College Community,
I would like to update you on fall 2010 undergraduate enrollment indicators after the May 1 National Candidates Reply Date. Commitment deposits received as of May 6, 2010. suggest that the College will substantially exceed its new undergraduate student enrollment and net tuition revenue budget targets. In addition, preliminary data indicate that the quality of the new class as measured by numbers of honors students, average test scores, high school GPA and diversity will substantially exceed all previous years in College history. These initial results also provide compelling evidence that issues in the public higher education sector and the College's strategic undergraduate enrollment marketing initiatives are successfully repositioning Saint Mary's in the undergraduate student market.
The following observations arise from the May 6 data:
1. A nearly 20 percent increase in first-year student applications and 60 percent increase in transfer student applications allowed the College to be more selective than any previous year in its history, admitting slightly less than 75 percent of applicants. Nearly 1.000 applicants were either denied admission or placed on a waiting list.
2. After typical summer "melt" of 10 percent, current freshman deposit totals of 696 (higher than any previous May 6 in College history) suggest that the class of 2014 will substantially exceed the budget target of 550. A new class of approximately 630 seems likely at this point. A class of this size will exhaust residence hall capacity. As a result, it is unlikely it will be possible to offer admission to any of the nearly 400 students on the College's waiting list.
3. Assuming that transfer admission activity follows typical summer patterns, deposit totals at this point of 115 projects to 175 new transfer students for fall 2010. Reduced access in California public institutions of higher education may push this total even higher.
4. The College revised its financial aid strategies for the fall 2010 class in order to simultaneously meet enrollment goals and increase net tuition revenue. Current results suggest that the College will meet its average net revenue per student target and may substantially exceed its total new student tuition revenue target. Cal Grant funding levels and economic volatility over the next several months will determine the eventual result.
5. Deposits from students admitted with Honors at Entrance total 115, a 44 percent increase from the previous all-time high for this date. Average SAT scores (1099) and high school GPA (3.44) of the class of 2014 are also higher than any previous year in College history.
6. New student diversity is also record-setting, with more than half of new undergraduate students describing themselves as students of color.
7. Male first-year deposits of 269 are the highest in College history and represent the largest proportion of the class since fall 2003.
Thank you to the many members of our campus community whose contributions of time and talent made these remarkable results possible.