Applications for 2021 class show increase in domestic diversity


As of Feb. 15, the Miami University Office of Admissions has received 30,068 applications for the class of 2021, breaking the 30,000 mark for the first time in the university’s history.

Not only is the applicant pool of record size, it’s also the strongest academic pool the university has ever seen with an average ACT score of 27.7 and an average GPA of 3.73.

Applications from domestic students of color rose 5.5 percent, while applications from international students decreased 6.8 percent.

Susan Schaurer, Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management and Director of Admission at Miami University, attributes the size, credentials and diversity of the applicant pool to the strategic recruiting methods the Office of Admission has employed for the past 5 years.

“We have been communicating more with students,” Schaurer said. “We have used the ACT, SAT, and PSAT to reach out to more students as part of our robust communication plan… We also have enhanced our visits across the nation and globe.”

Last year, Schaurer said, they completed 1,676 high school visits combined, nationally and internationally, as compared to 976 visits in 2012.

Schaurer, noting the decrease in international applications, explained the admissions office had not reduced their recruiting efforts abroad, but it seemed students simply weren’t as interested in studying in America as they have been in past years.

“I’ve spoken with admissions colleagues across the country, and many of them have described outcomes with their international application recruitment for the coming year varying anywhere from up 6 percent or down 25 percent,” Schaurer said. “I think, more than anything, those numbers are indicative of the turbulent landscape nationally and internationally.”

However, domestic diversity in applications increased this year, due in large part to the outreach done by the admissions office through the Bridges Program.

“The increase is due to our diligent work both in-state and out-of-state to connect with students of color,” Schaurer said. “This is our tenth year with the Bridges Program, and it has grown from our first year with 44 participants to 617 students this year.”

The Bridges Program is a two-week summer program intended for “high-achieving high school seniors from historically underrepresented populations or who have a commitment to promoting a deeper understanding of and appreciation for diversity,” according to the program’s website. The program also incorporates events throughout the academic year.

Forty-five percent of domestic students of color from the Fall 2016 cohort went through the Bridges Program.

While the applications to Miami overall increased, Schaurer expects the acceptance rate of about 65 to 66 percent to remain the same with only a marginal potential increase.

“Because so many of these students are academically accomplished and diverse, it will be more difficult for us to meet our enrollment goal because these students have many other options,” Schaurer said. “In order to compete, we continue to push outcomes, and the academic quality of Miami. We want these students to see us as a top tier public university.”

The enrollment goal for the class of 2021 is 3,700, which is slightly smaller than the class of 2020 at 3,798.

“Over the long term, we are most likely going to continue to aim for around 3,700, give or take marginally,” Schaurer said. “We do not expect to expand our capacity dramatically, as far as I am aware.”

Miami will welcome the finalized class of 2021 by May 1.