Fall 2020 admissions down but predicted to catch up soon

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Week 11 reports from Nancy Davidson by Graph by Dawn Geertsema

Nancy Davidson, vice president for enrollment, said that admission numbers are expected to catch up quickly, despite the university having six percent fewer prospective student applications than at this time last year.

Last year, 732 applicants had been offered admission to Augustana by week 11 for fall 2019. The admissions office has offered admission to 685 applicants for fall 2020, which is 47 fewer than last year.

2018 was a peak for week 11, as applications grew by about 200 and students offered admission by about 100, but both numbers have been slowly declining since.

To continue increasing those numbers this year, Davidson said the admissions office has been calling prospective students and encouraging those who have started applications to finish them.

Fall 2017 saw a near 38 percent increase in applications and about 85 percent more accepted students from 2016. Davidson said the admissions jump in 2017 was caused by the college’s transition to a university, the completion of the Froiland Science Complex and the NCAA Division II National Championship title won by the men’s basketball team in March 2016.

“2017 was a very good year. All the stars were aligning,” Davidson said. “We had invested more into marketing. We had a lot of momentum that was helping us make that surge.”

Davidson said that current students should share their experiences from being on campus, as they create the biggest impact on prospective students.

“Hearing from someone you know and trust that Augustana is a good place is powerful in terms of inspiring students and parents to look deeper,” Davidson said.

Prospective students are also exposed to campus’ atmosphere through scholarship events.

“Usually, not always, a student has been here for a campus visit before they come for a scholarship event,” Davidson said. “So the event is one more high impact experience with Augustana that takes them to the next level of interest and engagement.

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