Santa Clara University welcomes its largest freshman class ever

Movingintoswig Web
The biggest incoming class ever—and lots of stuff. Student volunteers help on move-in day at Swig Hall. Photo: Shawn Hanna, The Santa Clara
Nobili 2ed
Our new digs For years, Nobili Hall has served as a home for Jesuits on campus. But with a new Jesuit residence on Franklin Street nearing completion, this fall Santa Clara students moved into Nobili. Among them: junior Anna Grudsky and senior Brian Nelson. Photo: Charles Barry

This September, SCU welcomed its largest incoming class in University history: 1,350 students strong.

There is no single reason for the larger than usual class, explains Sandra Hayes, dean of admission, who says the freshman class is typically closer to 1,200 students. “We are seeing what is called the ‘baby boomlet’…there are more kids in the pipeline. We are also seeing more students applying to colleges and universities in general, and part of that has to do with the electronic application.”

The days of whiting out mistakes, gathering application pages together, and dashing off to the post office in time to meet the university’s deadline are long gone. Like many universities, SCU uses the Common Application, an electronic application that allows students to use one application for up to 30 schools.

Last fall, applications came in at a tremendous rate at the beginning of the cycle, then suddenly leveled off, Hayes said. This phenomenon threw a wrench in forecasting numbers for the incoming class.

Hayes and the University’s admission counselors are making adjustments to meet the changing admission trends. They will be listening carefully to students and parents who visit SCU, as well as to those they meet while doing outreach across the country. They hope to learn more about what the applicants are thinking and how those thoughts might evolve throughout the application process.

There has been a tremendous amount of work across the campus to ensure that, despite the large class size, the freshman experience for the Class of 2010 is no different than in years past. Even so, more students on campus means a need for more housing and services. To meet these demands, some residence halls previously reserved for upperclassmen are being opened to freshmen, and some double rooms are being converted into triples. Students living in triples will receive a discount for room and board. Every effort is being made to keep individual classroom size the same as last year, and hours for dining services have been extended as well. KCS

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