Although the number of applicants to Knox thus far is less than the previous year, it is too early to draw any conclusions.
In a report recently given to the faculty, President Teresa Amott noted that the number of students who applied before the Nov. 1 Early Action I deadline was down to 815, a drop from 857 at this time last year.
However, Amott preached caution against reading too much into these numbers, noting that “it is too soon to know if this trend will continue.” She also added that, “the admission staff are monitoring the situation very carefully.”
“It’s still very early in the process,” Paul Steenis, Director of Admissions, said. He chalked up the fall in applications to nothing more than a typical statistical fluctuation in the numbers, pointing out that although applications are down five percent from last year, they are still three percent higher than they were the year before that.
It remains possible, though, that statistical variations may not be the entire story.
Steenis said that there is at least anecdotal evidence that students this year are having problems with timely submission of applications. Some high school counselors have been in contact with the admissions department about increased problems getting their students to apply before the Early Action deadline.
Another possible concern is that students are confusing the non-binding Early Action offered by Knox with the restrictive Early Decision option offered by other schools, which is scaring off potential applicants until the regular admission deadline of Feb. 1. Still, there is not enough evidence behind either of these theories to pin the blame on them for the drop in applications.
Regardless of what is behind the drop in admission, the admissions department is rolling out several new tactics to keep admissions numbers high, including an increased presence on social media and a revamped website. Offline, there is increased emphasis on developing relations with the so-called “feeder schools” that have a track record of sending large numbers of students to Knox.
“We are trying to continue to refine the strategies we are currently employing,” Steenis said.
These numbers are only for Early Action I, the non-binding option that allows students to apply early and hear back within 14 days about their acceptance. There is still a second Early Action deadline on Dec. 1 and the Regular Decision deadline of Feb. 1.
Though Steenis said that there is “no way to tell” what the numbers will be for these two deadlines, he saw no reason that Knox will not see a healthy number of applicants.
As he said, “this is shaping up to be a good year.”
Note: The application data used in this article is accurate as of President Teresa Amott’s report to the faculty before its Nov. 7 meeting. That report was issued Friday, Nov. 4.