Adam Giffi, Senior Staff Writer

The grass may be greener at Miami University; or at least this seems to be the mentality of non-resident and transfer students, who have applied in droves among the record breaking number of applicants for the Fall 2011 semester.

According to Jennifer Herman, senior associate director of admission operations and communication, as of Friday, March 18, Miami has officially received 18,356 first-year applications. With admissions for first-year students now closed, Herman said this stands as the new record for applicants. Moreover, she said that this represents an 8.86 percent increase in applicants from Fall 2010.

While applications have increased 0.28 percent among total Ohio resident applicants, according to Herman non-resident and transfer applications increased at even greater rates in their respective categories. Due to recruitment efforts, non-resident applications are up 17.5 percent and transfer applications have reached 11.44 percent, Herman said by e-mail.

“We employ many different methods of student recruitment,” Herman said. “All of these items are approached strategically and reviewed often to see where changes may need to be.”

According to Herman, these efforts include everything from traveling to high schools and college fairs and hosting on and off-campus events for prospective student families, to placing regional recruitment representatives on the east and west coasts, recruiting overseas, media campaigns and more.

Herman also explained that the increase in transfer students did not simply occur as a byproduct of these efforts.

“Over the last several years we have increased our transfer recruitment efforts,” Herman said. “Our Saturday Transfer Visit Days are popular among potential transfer students. We also continue to develop relationships with community colleges both within Ohio and out of state, such as our Transfer Pathways Scholarship for transfer students attending two year colleges in Ohio, New Jersey or California.”

Junior Michael Jacobs, transferred to Miami at the start of the Spring 2010 semester. He said he is encouraged to know Miami is recruiting students like him.

“I think it’s a good thing that Miami is recruiting transfer students,” Jacobs said. “I was unhappy at my previous institution and because Miami was on my radar I was able to find a place that truly suits me.”

Lucinda Coveney, director of housing contracts and meal plans, said housing is aware of the recent focus on admissions. According to Coveney, housing has made adjustments based on an increasing number of transfer students on campus.

“We’ve been trying to prepare for a little higher number in transfer students,” Coveney said. “They bring diversity to our school and we want to make Miami as comfortable as possible for them. For instance, we’ve put on our contracts the option for transfer students to request to live with other transfer students and this is something that has been responded to.”

According to Herman, the target first-year class size for the fall 2011 semester is 3,500. She said this is in line with previous years and has not been adjusted to accommodate the increase in of applications.

Regardless of the numbers, Herman explained that all recruitment efforts, from targeting transfers and beyond, are done for a reason.

“It is obviously a plus when we see increases in applications,” Herman said. “But it is not just about getting ‘more’ students; we also want to make sure that we are recruiting students who will succeed at Miami and who will contribute to our campus community.”