January 16, 2003
front page
more news
ad information
contact information


More student applications at Antioch raise hopes

According to Michael Murphy, dean of admissions and financial aid at Antioch College, a student who applies to Antioch is more likely to actually attend the college than the average student applying to another school. So when Murphy reports that applications to Antioch are up nearly 40 percent over this time last year, and 72 percent over three years ago, his optimism about a significant increase in the college’s enrollment seems justified.

Because of increasing pressure on high school seniors to attend college, the average applicant will apply to more than seven schools this year.

Applicants to Antioch, on the other hand, usually apply to only a few other schools, Murphy said, and nearly one-fifth of Antioch’s applicants do not apply anywhere else. Taken together, these numbers provide hope that the class entering in the fall of 2003 will be one of Antioch’s biggest in recent history.

“There is a lot of pressure on students to achieve that status that comes with getting into a certain college. Applicants to Antioch don’t seem to be as concerned with that status, so when we report an increase in applications we assume that is due to genuine interest in attending, and we can reasonably expect more students to attend,” he said.

Increasing the college’s enrollment continues to be a top priority of Antioch College and Antioch University leadership. The school has what Murphy calls “a comparatively tiny endowment,” so it depends upon revenues from tuition and fees to remain financially stable.

An increase in enrollment means more money for the college, and more money could be used to improve every aspect of the college’s business, from its facilities to its faculty salaries, Murphy said.

Faculty executive committee member and professor of biology and environmental sciences Jill Yager echoes the sentiments of many Antioch community members when she expresses her desire to see a larger enrollment.

“Money is very tight right now, and the only way that will change in the near future is to have an escalation in enrollment,” Yager said. “If enrollment were to increase, a lot of the college’s problems would be easier to solve.”

For those administrators trying to make budget estimates based on current enrollment, calculating an exact, up-to-the-minute enrollment figure is difficult this early in the academic term. Dean of Students Pat Whitlow reports that as of Sept. 30, Antioch’s enrollment of full-time, degree-seeking students was 625. Twenty-one students withdrew in the fall 2002 term, and 15 students enrolled this term, so the college’s enrollment may be 619.

College Registrar Bonnie Scranton refused to release any enrollment figures without the approval of college President Joan Straumanis, who was away from the college on business and was not available.

—Brian Loudon