Freshman enrollment expected to increase

Derrin Coad, Staff Reporter

The upcoming fall semester at Eastern is likely to see a slight increase of freshman students compared to last year’s total.

Chris Dearth, Eastern’s director of admissions since last August, said the incoming freshman enrollment number is currently 3 percent above last year’s total of 1,063 students, which amounts to about 32 more students.

This number comes despite Eastern experiencing a 28 percent decrease in freshman enrollment between 2010 and 2014.

“The Office of Admissions has been more aggressive in recruiting and communicating with prospective students,” Dearth said. “Our new approach has been well received and we are looking to build upon this momentum.”

As for transfer students, Dearth said the early prediction number is “in line with previous years,” although he said Admissions is still working with many students to get them registered and enrolled.

In an attempt to raise enrollment numbers, Dearth and the Office of Admissions have “instituted several new initiatives,” which Dearth said have been met with positive results.

He said one of the more successful initiatives is the on-site decision program, which allows students to have their Eastern applications reviewed at their high school to be given an on-the-spot decision.

Enhancing the visiting tours was another initiative the Office of Admissions took on, and Dearth said this too has been a success.

“We enhanced or visit experience and we are always looking for new ways to attract students,” he said.

Dearth described his first year as the director of admissions as “an important year,” and he and his office already have their focus pointed toward the future with the 2016 application for admission recently being made available.

“There is still much work to do and we are always looking to improve,” Dearth said.

Derrin Coad can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].