The number of applications for the class of 2013 is the highest Miami University has seen for the past two years.
University Provost Jeffrey Herbst said throughout this year, the number of applications the university has received has consistently been 9 percent to 11 percent higher than at the same time last year, peaking at 14 percent higher.
Herbst said Miami has well surpassed the number of applications for the class of 2012 and is close to reaching the number of applications from two years ago.
While Herbst said both in-state and out-of-state application numbers have increased 14 percent, the number of international applications has increased by 125 percent, from approximately 330 applications last year to more than 750 this year.
Herbst was surprised at this increase and said last year he never would have foreseen numbers so high.
“I said last year that the amount of international applications would not increase 100 percent from the year before,” Herbst said. “While I was right, I thought it would have been a lower number.”
Herbst said that nearly the entire increase is due to the growth of applications from China.
African American applications have increased 40 percent from last year, Herbst said.
Herbst added that now the Office of Admissions will focus on convincing these students to come to Miami after they are accepted.
“Seventy percent of the Oxford revenue model is based on tuition,” Herbst said. “Admissions is the financial lifeline of the university.”
During the past year, Miami introduced new initiatives to appeal not only to prospective students but also their families.
A lot of families, Herbst said, are beginning to question how they are going to fund a college education.
Herbst said Miami has started an unprecedented campaign to attract potential students to Miami by using more personal techniques.
“The best predictor of a student deciding to come to the university is good information about faculty and the instructional program they’ll receive,” Herbst said.
Herbst said personalized Web sites will be also used to facilitate conversations between students and Miami advisers.
David Creamer, vice president of finance and business services, said Miami needs to pay attention to how many students will be admitted for next fall.
“We are looking at (accepting) around 3,500 students for next fall, but we don’t want to over-admit too many more than that, because than the experience will be poor for the incoming students,” Creamer said.
Creamer said accepting too many students could be a problem because sophomores will be required to live on campus next year.
Miami has the capacity to house 3,500 incoming first years, but admitting too many over that amount might jeopardize housing in the future.
The Office of Admissions sends out acceptance letters to prospective students Feb. 1 and March 15, with the decision deadline May 1. Herbst said Miami will very likely have to create a waiting list this year.
Fred Wall, member of the board of trustees, thinks Miami could benefit from accepting a higher percentage of out-of-state students because of their higher tuition.
“It would be a big plus for the university to have more out-of-state students,” Wall said.
While Herbst agrees, he said Miami has an important commitment to its in-state population.
“We want to increase the out-of-state population without diminishing the in-state population,” Herbst said.