Hannah Poturalski

With added pressure to deliver high enrollment numbers for fall 2010, Miami University will be alerting prospective students much earlier of their acceptance than in previous years.

“We want them to know earlier so we can work on yield activity and generate enthusiasm,” said John Skillings, special assistant to the president for enrollment management. “They still don’t have to answer until May 1.”

Skillings said Miami is in the midst of enrollment season for students.

Applications for the binding early decision were due by Nov. 1, 2009, and students were mailed acceptance letters Dec. 1, 2009. Applications for early action, which is not binding, were due Dec. 1, 2009, and students are normally notified by Feb. 15, but some students who applied early action have already received notifications.

“1,053 early notifications were sent out this week,” Skillings said. “As we review and complete a set of applications we will send out notifications.”

Thirdly, regular decision applications are due by Feb. 1 and students are notified by March 15. Early notifications for regular decision applicants will depend on how early students mail in their applications.

Skillings said depending on the student’s expressed interest, specific divisions and departments will contact potential students and share what’s special in that field.

Miami’s goal for the 2010 incoming first-year class is 3,450 to 3,550, according to Skillings.

Junior Donald Fullum said 3,450 students seems like a good number and is feasible. Fullum said when he was in high school he had never heard of Miami until they sent literature to his school.

“If they send students out to schools it would be a better way (to attract students),” Fullum said.

Skillings said the enrollment management committee, which was formed a number of years ago and usually meets once a semester, will now start meeting more often after a recommendation by a group of faculty, staff and students.

“The committee is going to be reconstituted and made more active,” Skillings said. “We look at enrollment in a broader sense.”

Skillings said the group looks at how many students transfer to Miami and how many are international students. The group also studies Miami’s retention rates.

The goal of the committee is to grow the number of applications to Miami, as well as an increase yield – the likelihood that accepted students will come to Miami.

The committee also wants to grow out-of-state markets such as the northeastern states and California, and supply more competitive scholarships to students.

Another resource for increasing enrollment is by way of the open enrollment policy at the Hamilton and Middletown campuses. Miami’s Oxford campus does not have an open enrollment policy.

Perry Richardson, campus communications officer at Hamilton, said Hamilton has had an open enrollment policy since it opened in 1968.

“If you have a high school diploma or GED, you are in,” Richardson said, “but you have to perform (once you get in) and maintain a 2.0 grade point average.”

Richardson said after completing 20 credit hours and maintaining their GPA, students can relocate to the Oxford campus if they want. Richardson said a couple hundred students move to the Oxford campus every year from Hamilton.

Stacey Adams Perry, director of admission and financial aid at Middletown, said the Middletown campus has always used an open enrollment policy.

“We were started to be in a community to serve the community,” Adams Perry said, “but it’s only for incoming first-time students.”

Adams Perry said every semester students relocate to Oxford from Middletown, but she said it depends on the student’s original intentions.

She said students who were not accepted to the Oxford campus will usually complete the necessary credit hours as quickly as possible, but older students are more likely to stay at the Middletown campus.

Adams Perry added that during the past five years, the Middletown campus has had as few as 10 and as many as 108 students relocate.