The University of La Verne will welcome 2,217 new students next fall, but this is just a fraction of the 7,033 that originally applied.
The number of applications received is 18 percent higher than it was at this time last year and applications are still flooding in, according to the office of admissions.
The University’s sudden popularity could be a result of advertising on billboards and websites.
Another contributor to the boost in applications might also La Verne’s ranking as one of America’s best colleges by Forbes magazine.
“I think the increase has to do with more people knowing about us and the quality of our school,” Felicia Beardsley, associate dean of the college of arts and sciences, said.
Beardsley also lists a number of other reasons students come to La Verne.
”The area, small size, academic programs attract students, but the most important is that the working-mentor relationship with faculty has increased the ability for students to walk out with first-hand work experience,” Beardsley said.
Chris Krzak, dean of admissions is also aware of the boost in applicants.
“Everything about La Verne is attracting more students, the fact that we are building new buildings, our ranking and the solid reputations of our programs,” Krzak said. “Students choose La Verne because of academics and we have a first rate faculty that takes care of our students.”
Krzak said that disarray came with the overflow of applications, and the admissions office was somewhat unprepared.
He said that other than the initial shock of the overflow, it is running normally again and they are back in control.
“To deal with the increase, we have hired an additional full- time admissions counselor in order to help go through the applications,” Candyce Coleman, assistant director of admissions, said.
Coleman said that they also hired two new temporary workers in order to help keep up with the pace and effectively sift through the applications to find the most ULV-worthy students.
Krzak said that even with the new help they are flooded with work and have to work overtime to screen the students’ applications in order to ensure La Verne’s newest additions are a perfect fit for the community.
Another effect of the increase is a change in the university standards. Along with the average SAT score, the average GPA of incoming students has risen since last fall from a 3.43 to a 3.5.
“As the academic profile slowly increases so will the university averages,” Krzak said. “This does not seem like a big difference but these standards are not changed overnight. It takes a lot to change them and in the long run this is a big step toward change.”
“Because of the large number of applications we are getting more academically prepared students,” Krzak said.
He said that with more student-preparedness it is only a matter of time until La Verne moves up even higher in the rankings and becomes one of the most desired and fastest growing colleges academically.
“With progress going as fast as it is, we are moving toward being more nationally-recognized, making the value of a ULV diploma higher and worth more for future graduates,” Coleman said.
Even with the spike in interest in La Verne and the 16 percent increase in students admitted this fall compared to last fall, both Krzak and Coleman say they are certain that La Verne will remain the small community that it is now.
They say that next year’s admissions number will hopefully reflect and not exceed this year’s numbers.
Although it is admissions’ busiest time of year, they are confident with their progress and plan to accept an exceptional batch of new students to the university.
Veronica Orozco can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.