Campus / News / May 16, 2012

Enrollment numbers up, family income down

Over 375 schools are still looking to fill out their incoming classes, including Knox College.

The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) recently released its annual Space Availability Survey, a list of schools that are still looking for applicants past the standard May 1 admission deposit deadline.

Does this mean that Knox’s enrollment numbers are slipping and the school is struggling to fill spaces? Not at all.

“We’re right on track with where we want to be,” Director of Admissions Paul Steenis said.

Adding students past the deadline is standard practice for Knox, and the school has been a regular on the NACAC’s list for years. Students are often still weighing financial aid packages or hearing back about waitlist decisions at this point and are thus still undecided. For transfer students, the deadline does not even pass until June 1.

If anything, the numbers are looking very encouraging for this year’s class. As of May 11, 369 students have sent in their admissions deposits, well up from the 339 who had done so at this time last year, putting the Office of Admissions very close to their stated goal of 375.

“There is hardly a school like Knox that isn’t still looking,” Steenis said. A look at the NACAC’s list seems to confirm this, as Knox is joined by such comparable schools as Monmouth and Augustana.

This increase in deposits comes at a good time for the school because the graduating Class of 2012 is unusually large. To keep enrollment numbers constant, there would need to be 419 new students on campus next year between freshmen and transfers, assuming the registrar’s projection of 986 returning students is correct.

So far the class of 2016, in general, looks remarkably like those of past years. Of the 369 students who have sent in their admissions deposits as of May 11, 314 are American and 50 are international. Twenty-seven percent are students of color. Fifty-seven percent are female, and 43 percent are male.

Thirty-two percent were in the top 10 percent of their high school class and had an average ACT score of 28.1.

These numbers are not finalized and will fluctuate a bit as the last few freshmen finish applying or weighing financial aid packages, but “in all likelihood, [the Class of 2016] will be very similar to last year’s class,” Steenis said.

Steenis does sound one note of caution. The median family income of the incoming class has declined, which could pose problems for the Department of Financial Aid. The numbers on this decline, however, are not yet available.

Matt Barry
Matt Barry is a senior majoring in international relations and double minoring in economics and German. This is his third year working for TKS, having served previously as discourse editor. He has worked for such organizations as the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Premier Tourism Marketing and the Council on American Islamic Relations-Chicago, where his work appeared in such publications as Leisure Group Travel, Ski & Ride Club Guide and The Chicago Monitor. Matt has written his political opinion column, "The Voice of Reason," weekly for three years, which finished in first place at the 2012 Illinois College Press Association conference and was also recognized at the 2013 conference.

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