May 3, 2000
KALAMAZOO -- For the second time in as many years, Western Michigan University has closed admission to its freshman class because of record numbers of student applications.
The decision to close admissions this year was made a week earlier than last year, when skyrocketing numbers of students seeking admission to WMU prompted the University to close admissions for the first time in its history. The class of beginning freshmen that enrolled for the fall 1999 semester hit 4,426, an increase of 18 percent over the previous year's record numbers.
Admissions officials report that the number of freshman applications this year is up another 7 percent. The rate of students making deposits to reserve their space at the University and the number of students reserving space for summer orientation sessions also are up substantially.
"Quite simply put, our University continues to enjoy a superb and growing reputation among students and their parents, and they are responding to that reputation in record numbers," says WMU President Elson S. Floyd. "While such popularity is a wonderful affirmation of the strength of our undergraduate offerings, it has reached a point where we must close admissions to preserve the quality of our programs as well as the level of service our students expect and deserve."
The move primarily affects graduating high school seniors heading for college this fall and will not impact the admissions prospects for transfer students or graduate students, according to John Fraire, dean of admissions. He says certain exceptions to the closed status will be made for students applying to such programs as the Lee Honors College. Those exceptions will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
While the closing is effective immediately, University officials will continue to process applications already received and those now in the postal system.
"This University continues to be extremely popular and our numbers are soaring, but we are maintaining the selective admissions standards we've set," says Fraire. "Even with this move, we are looking at a significant increase--in the range of 4 to 6 percent--over last year's entering class."
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