Miami University may be expecting a smaller class in 2015.
While Miami’s current first-year class is made up of 3,635 students, the class of 2015 is expected to be approximately 3,450 students.
The Strategic Priorities Task Force proposed the suggestion.
“Even though the decision is still just a proposal, it seems as if there is strong support throughout the university for lowering the enrollment … a definite decision has not been made, but it seems to be generally accepted,” Associate Provost Michael Dantley said.
Dantley said the smaller class size would have beneficial impacts on all students.
“(This would) allow the university to maintain a steady state, and by that I mean this would provide the student body with better access to the resources the university has to offer such as the housing, dinning, smaller classes and professors,” Dantley said. “The smaller class size allows us to keep a steady state without having to increase anything in those areas and given the financial situation, maintaining status quo makes good financial sense.”
Sophomore Casey Wyckoff said she did not agree.
“Honestly, I’m worried about this decision,” Wyckoff said. “Lowering the class size could lead to an increase in tuition or a decrease in the budget. I believe that Miami needs to work on solving the housing problem, but I’m not sure what to think about this.”
A smaller class size would not necessarily create a hole in the university budget, according to David Creamer, vice president of finance and business services.
“You must understand that new revenue for the university is looked at as a five year period of time, we are not looking at a single year,” Creamer said. “No immediate financial shortfalls (or) changes in revenue are expected for next year.”
Wyckoff wonders what would happen to upperclassmen who want to live on campus.
“The fact that the university is cutting the number of beds available to upperclass students is crazy,” Wyckoff said. “I can’t believe they are going to turn away upperclassmen. A university should be able to house all of its students that want to live on campus. Although I am skeptical about some of these decisions, I am confident that eventually everything will work out with the housing problems Miami faces, even though they may not happen as rapidly as we would like.”
While Miami will still be offering upperclassmen the option of living on campus, Creamer said not all students will be satisfied.
“I expect that there will be some juniors and seniors who would prefer to live on campus that won’t be accommodated,” Creamer said. “The housing plan is already very expensive and the cost and risk of the plan would increase if we built enough beds to respond to the maximum demand that we might experience in any given year. The university’s residential experience is primarily designed around the needs of freshmen and sophomores.”
This decision will require an effort from all parts of campus.
“Lowering the class size will no doubt increase the quality of the class, even though we can’t complain about the current quality — it will make the application process a more challenging effort for students,” Dantley said. “Making a class takes a university effort, it is not just about admissions, it is the entire university’s responsibility.”