Vice President for Enrollment and Dean of Admission Paul Steenis projects that 375 incoming freshman will make up Knox’s class of 2022. The class size is on par with recent years, with Steenis expecting Knox’s retention rate to be sufficient to keep overall enrollment stable.
While the exact enrollment numbers remain fluid due to transfers still having time to enroll before the June 1 deadline and the possibility of decisions changing over the summer, Steenis was satisfied with the stability of the class size. He referred to it as an accomplishment given the challenges posed by outside factors to keep enrollment stable.
“This is a period of time when a lot of colleges and universities are really finding it to be challenging [maintaining enrollment size] because the number of high school graduates, especially in the midwest, has been declining,” Steenis said.
These issues are reflected in the decrease of Knox’s applicant pool. While Knox’s acceptance rate increased to 74 percent compared to 72 percent last year, the total amount of admitted students was down. As of May 11, Knox has offered admission to 2,016 students, compared to 2,291 at the same point last year.
In contrast, Steenis noted that Knox saw a successful rise in its yield rate, which represents the percentage of admitted students who accepted offers of admission. The yield rate for the class of 2022 is currently 18 percent, up from about 15 percent last year. Steenis cited as an important factor the large pool of admitted students that Knox got to visit campus.
“Clearly the fact that we’re yielding at a much higher rate means that they had very positive impressions of Knox, of their interactions with students and faculty, while they were here,” Steenis said.
While exact data on international enrollment was not available, Steenis did note it as one area where Knox currently expects to see a decline. He attributed this to the large number of international students who were brought in last year, but acknowledged other factors were a possibility.
“It’s hard to know how the political environment in the US is playing internationally … we’re concerned that more of those students are potentially going to find themselves feeling more welcomed in some other countries,” Steenis said.
Steenis stated that Knox would regardless remain one of the most international schools in the country, and that he would wait to look at national trends to see how Knox is comparing. He specified China as one of area of interest to admissions that Knox has struggled with, as Knox’s upcoming class currently contains only a single Chinese student.
Precise data on the number of students coming from specific states was also unavailable, but Steenis highlighted the states of California and Colorado as being on the rise. Aside from Knox’s traditionally strong numbers in the suburbs of Chicago, admissions from downstate Illinois were also up significantly.
Demographically among U.S. students, 36 percent of the incoming class are students of color. The demographics break down as 16 percent Hispanic, 8 percent African American, 6 percent Asian, and 6 percent multiracial. The gender divide is 56 percent female and 44 percent male, on par with past years.
Academically, Steenis felt it was a strong class with similar GPA and class rankings to recent years, and the average ACT score also holding steady at 26.5. Steenis credited the campus community as crucial to the school’s attempt to secure a well-rounded class.
“It takes an entire campus community to recruit a class, if you will. Students pick Knox on the basis of who we are … I think the campus community really came together this year and provided a lot of support for us in terms of bringing in the class,” Steenis said.