Tag Archive for admissions

Wesleyan Receives Record Number of Applications for Class of 2020

The Office of Admission received more than 12,000 applications for the Class of 2020. 

The Office of Admission received more than 12,000 applications for the Class of 2020.

At a time when many are decrying the demise of liberal arts colleges, Wesleyan has received its largest application pool ever for the Class of 2020. As of Feb. 1, 12,026 students had applied, marking a 22 percent increase over the previous year and a 10 percent increase over the previous all-time high three years ago for the Class of 2017.

“We’re very pleased by not only the sheer number of students who can see themselves at Wesleyan—amongst the highest of any liberal arts college—but also by the highly talented and diverse nature of the applicant pool,” said President Michael Roth. “I’d like to believe this is evidence that we’re about to see a resurgence of pragmatic liberal arts education in this country.”

Wesleyan Partners with Say Yes to Expand Educational Access

sayyesContinuing its long-standing tradition of expanding access to higher education, Wesleyan recently announced a new partnership with Say Yes to Education.

Say Yes works with students from low-income and other background historically underrepresented in the nation’s colleges and universities from partner locations including Buffalo and Syracuse, N.Y., Harlem, Hartford, Conn. and, most recently, Guilford County, N.C. Students have access to full-tuition scholarships as well as a wide array of supports and services—academic, social, emotional, medical and legal—to help them successfully navigate the path to college readiness.

Diversity and Talents of the Class of 2019

The Class of 2019 gathered for the traditional panoramic class photo Sept. 2.

The Class of 2019 gathered for the traditional panoramic class photo Sept. 2. (Photo by Rick Culliton)

On Sept. 3, Meg Harrop '19 met with her academic advisor, Professor of Economics Richard Grossman, to discuss her fall semester pre-registaton enrollments and educational goals. The individual faculty advising appointments are part of New Student Orientation for the Class of 2019. 

On Sept. 3, Meg Harrop ’19 met with her academic advisor, Professor of Economics Richard Grossman, to discuss her fall semester pre-registaton enrollments and educational goals. The individual faculty advising appointments are part of New Student Orientation for the Class of 2019. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

By 9 a.m. Sept. 2, vehicles brimming with backpacks, boxes, books, bedding, microwaves, clothes, laptops, lamps and dorm decor descended on Andrus Field. Members of the Class of 2019, with help from their families and fellow students, moved into their student residences and immediately began New Student Orientation (See photos and a video of Arrival Day here).

Meg Harrop ’19, who is on the women’s soccer team, said her transition to Wesleyan has been “incredibly welcoming, smooth and comfortable.”

“There are only about nine other students in my hall, but everyone has such different backgrounds and interests, and the orientation activities helped me learn something new and meaningful about each of them,” she said. “Everyone is excited to get to know each other, so everyone seemed comfortable approaching new people and knocking on other hall mates’ doors. I can’t wait to meet new people in my classes and get to know my professors!”

Students in the Class of 2019 were selected from some of the toughest competition the Office of Admission has ever seen.

“Our new students are superbly prepared—by traditional academic measures as good as it gets. And, particularly well prepared to work across the entire curriculum of arts and sciences,” said Nancy Hargrave Meislahn, dean of admission and financial aid. “The range of talents, cultures, family backgrounds in this group is remarkable. In many ways, this may be the most diverse class ever enrolled at Wes—and that’s saying something!”

Members of the Class of 2019 moved into their student residences on Sept. 2.

Members of the Class of 2019 moved into their student residences on Sept. 2. (Photo by John Van Vlack)

In 2014-2015, Wesleyan received 9,905 applicants for first-year fall admission into the Class of 2019. Of those, 2,181 were admitted and 758 expected to matriculate.

The Class of 2019 is 44 percent male and 56 percent female. International students make up 11 percent of the entire class and come from more than 40 countries including Brazil, Cuba, Ethiopia, Nepal, Zimbabwe and the United Arab Emirates. More than 100 students reside outside the U.S., and 80 are citizens of other countries.

Forty-two percent of the students (including international) are self-identifying students of color, the highest percentage in at least five years.

“This is as cosmopolitan and international a class as Wesleyan has seen,” Meislahn said.

Seventeen percent of the Class of 2019 are first-generation college students. Thirteen percent have a Wesleyan alumnus/ae or student relative.

The Class of 2019’s top projected majors are economics, biology, psychology, film studies and English while 13 percent are undecided.

Fifty-one percent of the class is receiving financial aid.

“We think we’ve assembled a remarkably engaged and talented group of new students—the next generation who are committed to making a difference wherever in the world they are, here at Wesleyan or beyond the university,” Meislahn said. “The variety of talents and commitments to school groups, civic and religious organizations, politics and the arts that these students bring bodes well for the life of this vibrant community called Wesleyan.

 

Students Gain Skills, Help Departments While Working on Campus this Summer

More than 185 Wesleyan students are employed in various campus departments over the summer. Of those, about 78 are work-study eligible. Students earn money that can be contributed to the cost of their education, while learning skills that will benefit them in the classroom and beyond. Employers benefit from students’ skills, insight and enthusiasm.

Andrea Vargas ’17 is spending her summer working as a student assistant for the Office of University Events and Scheduling. She also holds this job during the academic year. “I use a computer program to process information about campus events. We handle all the logistics for events, and right now I’m planning for faculty lectures that will be held next fall.”

Andrea Vargas ’17 is spending her summer working as a student assistant for the Office of University Events and Scheduling. She also holds this job during the academic year. “I use a computer program to process information about campus events. We handle all the logistics for events, and right now I’m planning for faculty lectures that will be held next fall.”

Wesleyan Hosts Conference of Community-Based Organizations

Attendees at this year's conference represented community-based organizations across the country. (Photo by Kora Shin)

Attendees at this year’s conference represented community-based organizations across the country. (Photo by Kora Shin)

On May 7-9, the Office of Admission held its annual conference for educators and directors of community-based organizations (CBOs), bringing together high school guidance counselors and directors from about 20 groups nationwide.

The conference was founded in 2003 as a way to build closer relationships between Wesleyan and CBOs at a time when the Supreme Court was considering the landmark Grutter v. Bollinger case on the University of Michigan Law School’s affirmative action policy and many in higher education were feeling uncertain about the future of affirmative action, explained Cliff Thornton, associate dean of admission and co-organizer of the conference.

Meet Wesleyan Tour Guide Greg Tavarez ’16

Greg Tavarez '16

Greg Tavarez ’16 is a Wesleyan tour guide and admission intern.

As part of an ongoing series on student employment, we speak to a campus tour guide. All Wesleyan tours are given by students, and the Office of Admission employs up to 50 student tour guides at a time.

According to Ashleigh Corvi ’13, assistant dean of admission and coordinator of the tour guide program, “The goal of our tours is to highlight the unique characteristics of Wesleyan, and interweave these ideas into a personal narrative. We want our tours to be a mix of facts and personal anecdotes and experiences. The stories our students recall are what resonate with visitors, especially the prospective students. This tour model, which we believe is effective, would not be possible without this student perspective.”

Tour guides are selected from a group interview setting in order to ensure they are comfortable presenting and answering questions in front of a group. According to Corvi, the Office of Admission

Wesleyan Makes Tests Optional in Admissions

Both the SAT and the ACT tests will be optional for high school applicants to Wesleyan University starting next fall, President Michael S. Roth announced this week.

The tests, given annually to about three million students in 170 countries, have been part of the Wesleyan admissions process for many years. Wesleyan has required either the SAT with two subject tests, or the ACT. Now the university joins several hundred institutions, including many of its peer colleges, in making the tests optional.

While students’ academic records will continue to be most important in Wesleyan’s admissions decisions, as they always have, applicants may choose whether or not to submit test scores.

“We’ve always been most concerned about the day-to-day work of our applicants, in a rigorous academic program,” said Nancy Hargrave Meislahn, Wesleyan’s dean of admission and financial aid. “This option provides students more control over their applications, how best to present themselves to the admission committee.”

University administrators are unconvinced that the 88-year-old exam—or the “younger” ACT —always accurately reflects college potential, and believe that it can unfairly advantage privileged applicants.

“We’re skeptical about the value of the SAT in predicting college success,” Roth said. “Scores don’t necessarily add much to student applications; what’s more, we believe they can skew the advantage toward students from privileged backgrounds, or those who can afford test prep.”

Meislahn cited compelling new research from 33 colleges and universities with score-optional policies that finds little difference in academic success between those who submit scores and those who don’t. Score-optional schools also have seen a more racially and socio-economically diverse pool of candidates.

“Wesleyan is committed to diversity and inclusion,” she said. “We’re actively recruiting students from under-served communities, students of color and first-generation scholars. We believe that making test scores optional will provide more access.”

Class of 2017 Takes Shape as Admissions Goes Paperless

The Office of Admission is implementing a new paperless application system. The Class of 2018 will be able to apply and set up interviews online.

The Office of Admission is implementing a new paperless application system. Applicants will be able to set up interviews online.

Admissions reports that the class of 2017 is nearly fully formed, the final offers have been made and Wesleyan will welcome a class of around 750 frosh in September.

The class is more international than in previous years, with 101, or 13 percent of its students coming from outside the United States. These students are extremely well prepared academically for college and an open curriculum: more of its members took calculus, at least four years of a foreign language and biology, chemistry and physics in high school than the previous admitted class.

“We’re pretty excited about this, and have a good idea about what the class looks like, although it’s not completely final,” said Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Nancy Hargrave Meislahn. The admitted class shrinks or in admission parlance “melts” a little during the summer, but usually only by seven to 10 students, she explained.

The exciting sub-plot this year is the debut of paperless admissions. The class of 2018 will be chosen from applicants who apply, submit references and transcripts – and even set up interview appointments – online.

“We’re going great guns,” said Meislahn. “We’re going to start using the new system, called SLATE by Technolutions, to read applications on line, and the first module that we’re rolling out will book our interviews.”  Charlotte Lazor, Greg Pyke and Dan Manuyag are the leaders of the effort and deserve all the credit for keeping implementation on schedule and everyone on task.  By the end of the summer, no stone will be left untouched and all staff engaged in the transition.

And if an applicant goes old-school and submits material on dead trees?

“We’ll scan the materials,” Meislahn said. “We’ll keep some version of paper around for the next several years. But there will be much less of it. We might consider a yard sale for our file cabinets.”

Tara Lindros Oversees the Efforts of 800 Alumni Admission Volunteers

Tara Lindros, associate dean of admission, is responsible for student recruiting and application reading. She also supervises the Wesleyan tour guides. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

Q: Tara, when did you join Wesleyan’s Office of Admission?

A: I started working at Wesleyan in July of 2007.

Q: What are they key ways you recruit students to Wesleyan?

A: We recruit students in many different ways. Prospective students and their families visit our campus at all times of the year. We also travel all over the country and the world to spread the word about Wesleyan. We see every activity we undertake as recruiting.

Q: What percentage of your time is spent traveling? Which regions of the country do you oversee?

A: I spend about six to eight weeks a year traveling…so that’s about 15 percent of my total time spent on the road. I travel to Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Virginia, Maine, and the greater Boston area. I also oversee recruiting and applicants from West Virginia, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, North and South Dakota, but do not travel to these places.

Q: When visiting high schools, what information do you provide to the students? What are typical questions they have for you?

A: When I visit high schools, I’m basically taking my Wesleyan on-campus information session on the road. Each high school may be slightly different, so you tailor your message based on your audience. They typically have the same questions that visitors to campus have, but that varies pretty widely based on location and their familiarity with Wesleyan.

Applications Up By 6 Percent Over Record Year

Wesleyan received 203 more applications from the Midwest, 266 more applications from the South and 619 from the West compared to 2008 data. Applicants from the Northeast increased by 392 since 2008. (Photo by Bill Burkhart)

Wesleyan received 203 more applications from the Midwest, 266 more applications from the South and 619 from the West compared to 2008 data. Applicants from the Northeast increased by 392 since 2008. (Photo by Bill Burkhart)

This year, 10,645 seniors from around the world applied to Wesleyan University, an increase of 6 percent from 2009, which was a record year for applications, despite the sour economy.

“Last year we reached an all-time high for applications, up by 22 percent, and this year is 6 percent over that,” says Greg Pyke, senior associate dean of admission.

Of these students, 41 percent are male and 59 percent are female.

The applicant pool contains 362 candidates for the Freeman Asian Scholars program, 860 for early decision admission and 9,423 applications in the regular review process. Two-hundred-and-twenty-nine of these students are alumni sons and daughters.

Nancy Meislahn, dean of admission and financial aid, is encouraged by the increase in “markets that Wesleyan has identified as high potential and priority for recruitment initiatives.” These include African-American applicants, applicants from the South,

Solar Panels Installed on Office of Admission

The Office of Admission received a solar panel installation in September. According to Peter Staye, associate director of utilities management, the Admissions building uses about 110,000 kWh annually. The panels create electricity at a maximum output of 3 kW and will produce about 3,000 kW hours annually towards that annual usage.

The Office of Admission received a solar panel installation in September. According to Peter Staye, associate director of utilities management, the Admissions building uses about 110,000 kWh annually. The panels create electricity at a maximum output of 3 kW and will produce about 3,000 kW hours annually towards that annual usage.

John Nordeman '99 and Matthew Rude '99, co-owners of renewable energy company Just Energy (JE), own and installed the solar panels. Wesleyan has a contract with JE to purchase all the electricity the system produces for the next 10 years. Just Energy was founded in March 2008 with a vision of reducing energy expenses for commercial customers while also helping the environment. (Photos by Olivia Bartlett Drake)

John Nordeman '99 and Matthew Rudey '99, co-owners of renewable energy company Just Energy (JE), installed the solar panels. Wesleyan has a contract with JE to purchase all the electricity the system produces for the next 10 years. Just Energy was founded in March 2008 with a vision of reducing energy expenses for commercial customers while also helping the environment. (Photos by Olivia Bartlett Drake)

Wesleyan Welcomes Two ‘Better Chance’ First-Year Students

Malik Ben-Salahuddin '13 and Dorisol Inoa '13 are both recent alumni of A Better Chance (ABC). They will attend Wesleyan in the fall.

Malik Ben-Salahuddin '13 and Dorisol Inoa '13 are both recent alumni of A Better Chance (ABC). They will attend Wesleyan in the fall.

Next fall, Wesleyan will welcome two students of color who graduated high school “capable of assuming positions of responsibility and leadership.”

Malik Ben-Salahuddin ’13 and Dorisol Inoa ’13 are both recent alumni of A Better Chance (ABC), the oldest national organization of its kind. ABC aims to change the life trajectory in a positive way for academically-talented youth of color through access to rigorous and prestigious educational opportunities for students in grades 6-12.

“This is wonderful recognition for these two top students, two in a long line of ABC students at Wesleyan,” says Nancy Meislahn, dean of admission and financial aid.

ABC’s mission is to increase substantially the number of well-educated young people of color who are capable of assuming positions of responsibility