This fall, CMC will welcome a new class of freshmen and transfer students to campus. With CMC’s growing name recognition, the college saw not only an increase in applications this year, but also a higher yield of accepted offers than in years past.
Jeff Huang, Vice President for Admissions & Financial Aid, told the ASCMC Senate last spring that the target size for the freshman class was 310-320 students. The College Enrollment Committee then revised the target to 325-330 students when “we learned that we would need a slightly larger freshman class this year [than the traditional 300],” said Huang.
Dean Huang told the Forum that there are currently 342 students deposited for the class of 2017, though that number may decrease over the summer. Additionally, the New York Times reported that CMC’s yield rate – the percentage of accepted students who matriculate – increased from 42 percent for the class of 2016 to 53 percent for the class of 2017. The rate for 2016 represented a drop from the 48 percent yield in 2015.
According to Dean Eric Vos, Director of Residential Life, this increase in class size did not affect the availability of on-campus housing for incoming freshmen. However, the freshman class size will impact transfer students. “Incoming transfer students will very likely not be able to live on campus this year because of the larger-than-projected freshmen class,” Dean Vos wrote to the Forum.
The growth in freshman commitments to CMC was matched by a large volume of transfer acceptances. Based on preliminary data for fall 2013 admissions, the acceptance rate for transfer students this year fell to 14 percent from 20 percent in 2012; however, the “yield rate for transfer students has ranged from 47 percent to 70 percent within the 2011 to 2013 period,” said Jennifer Sandoval-Dancs, Director of Admissions. “The applicant data for the Fall 2013 transfer class is preliminary,” she added. “The data will go through a thorough review and cross-check process with the Office of Institutional Research.”
While the College does not guarantee it to transfer students, “we typically intend on being able to provide them on-campus housing,” wrote Sandoval-Dancs. She explained that various departments of the College, such as the Registrar’s Office, the Dean of Students, and Admissions & Financial Aid, hold a meeting each May regarding the number of students at the school.
According to Sandoval-Dancs, when these parties meet, “One of the areas discussed by the College is the evaluation of the number of beds and how this fits with the sum of returning and new students. Most years there are enough beds for all of our new students,” she wrote, “leaving the option of living on-campus for incoming transfers. This year the balance of incoming students and beds on campus did not afford us the option of providing housing for transfer students.”
Dean Vos explained that the unavailability of on-campus housing for transfer students was made clear in their acceptance letters to ensure that these students “could make an informed decision about choosing to attend CMC.” Furthermore, said Sandoval-Dancs, admitting transfers without guaranteeing housing was the preferred alternative to the College’s other option: admitting no transfer students.
“We had the choice of not admitting transfers or admitting transfers without being in the position to house any of them on campus,” wrote Sandoval-Dancs. “The Enrollment Planning Committee decided that transfer students should be given the option of enrolling at CMC and living off campus.”
While it is difficult to gauge whether more returning students are electing to live on campus than in years past, Dean Vos stated that “for this past year and for the upcoming year, we have not reached our cap for students allowed to live off-campus.” According to an email sent to CMC students in February, the off-campus permissions cap for the 2013-2014 year was 70 students.
“My theory is that more students simply want to live on campus,” Vos continued. “They want to have a more full residential college experience: They can be in the heart of the action, they can see people more frequently at campus events and in the dining hall, and there’s a convenience factor of living on campus that is quite appealing.”