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JCU welcomes largest freshman class in a decade

September 12th, 2013

The enrollment numbers of John Carroll University’s class of 2017 broke the 10-year record with approximately 800 students in the freshman class.

“When we were looking at daily reports in April, leading up to the May 1st decision deadline, we were confident that we would reach our goal,” said Joel Mullner, assistant director of enrollment.“By the last few days of April, we had reached our goal, and then it kept going.”

Mullner said that the Class of 2017 Celebration attracted the largest attendance ever.

“People who came to campus really felt a part of the community,” said Mullner.

Though the target size of the freshman class is between 700 and 725 students, Mullner cited some of the factors in the uptick in enrollment.

“There are so many things outside of our control—the economy being an example. However, I feel our scholarships and financial aid awards were competitive relative to other schools, and families realized that JCU was an affordable option.”

Having Murphy Hall, one of the largest residence halls on campus, unavailable for the largest freshman class in 10 years, the Office of Residence Life said it has been working hard to accommodate students in the best way possible. There are 677 first year students living on campus, with over 200 living in triples.

According to the office of enrollment, with a class comprised of 52 percent male and 48 percent female students, the distribution amongst triples is generally even across genders. Residents of triples also pay $600 less than double room occupants as a compensation for the tighter space, according to the University website.

The students living in triples were given a form asking whether they would want desks and other furniture made available or taken away for more room space. Two reflection rooms have been renovated into dorm rooms per their original purpose.

The freshman class is more spread out across campus than before, now being housed in Campion, Dolan, Pacelli and Sutowski Halls.

Freshman Zach Burkhart, a resident of Dolan Hall, said that this has not prevented new students from interacting with each other.

“I think it’s nice because everyone on my floor and everyone below us are freshman. The entire campus itself is set up really well,” said Burkhart.

Freshman Ese Osaghae, a Campion Hall triple dorm room resident, also cited the community among the freshmen.

“You get to have more interaction with other people. Your roommates will have their friends, you get to meet other friends and meet people more easily. All of us ‘Campion champions’ are good floor mates. We invite a lot of other freshmen over and walk over to other dorms if necessary.”

Other changes have been made to accommodate to the size of the class of 2017.

On Wednesday, Aug. 28, during the second day of classes, a group of upperclassmen were spotted sitting on the floor of the cafeteria due to lack of seating. Dave Turska, director of dining services, said that finding a seat is not a problem of shortage of space, but rather something that happens at the beginning of every year.

“Every year for the first week or two of class, the dining hall gets especially busy at the peak of lunch until students fall into a routine for the semester due to their class schedule,” Turska said.

Turska said the dining staff underwent preparation to accommodate the larger freshman class.

“In getting prepared for the incoming class size, we also rearranged the table and chair placement in the dining hall to help ease seating. By breaking up those long groups of tables, we gained space for additional seating, made students more comfortable by eating with smaller groups of people and so far the feedback has been positive.”

With the size of the student population affecting many arenas, one of JCU’s main advertised perks, small class sizes, was in question. However, Mullner feels that the advantage of having a low student-to-faculty ratio will be preserved.

“From a physical perspective, the individual class sizes can’t get a whole lot larger because of room capacities,” he said. “We did have to add more sections of certain classes. I don’t think the in-class experience will change from what we have been used to.”

Though there were more people enrolled at JCU this year, Mullner said this does not mean that the University is lowering its standards. In fact, the acceptance rate did not change significantly because more applications for admission — over 3,700 — were received.

Mullner said,“With every decision we make, it still comes down to the question, ‘Will this student succeed if they come here?’”

When asked about the large freshman class, JCU tour guides expressed excitement.

“It’s easy to sell a product that shows a lot of success. John Carroll being a small, liberal arts school, we have a solid reputation for our business program, our sciences, and I think it’s really easy to promote that to incoming students,” said senior tour guide Ken Clar.

Junior tour guide Danielle Keane said that the passion the tour guides have for JCU definitely shows in the way they have represented the school to potential students.

“We all just genuinely love this school and it shows when we’re going through the tours. We’re laughing, telling stories about what made John Carroll so special to us. This is a place where you will have family.”

Other changes have been made to accommodate to the size of the class of 2017.

On Wednesday, Aug. 28, during the second day of classes, a group of upperclassmen were spotted sitting on the floor of the cafeteria due to lack of seating. Dave Turska, director of dining services, said that finding a seat is not a problem of shortage of space, but rather something that happens at the beginning of every year.

“Every year for the first week or two of class, the dining hall gets especially busy at the peak of lunch until students fall into a routine for the semester due to their class schedule,” Turska said.

Turska said the dining staff underwent preparation to accommodate the larger freshmen class.

“In getting prepared for the incoming class size, we also rearranged the table and chair placement in the dining hall to help ease seating. By breaking up those long groups of tables, we gained space for additional seating, made students more comfortable by eating with smaller groups of people and so far the feedback has been positive.”

With the size of the student population affecting many arenas, one of JCU’s main advertised perks, small class sizes, was in question. However, Mullner feels that the advantage of having a low student-to-faculty ratio will be preserved.

“From a physical perspective, the individual class sizes can’t get a whole lot larger because of room capacities,” he said. “We did have to add more sections of certain classes. I don’t think the in-class experience will change from what we have been used to.”

Though there were more people enrolled at JCU this year, Mullner said this does not mean that the University is lowering its standards. In fact, the acceptance rate did not change significantly because more applications for admission — over 3,700 — were received.

Mullner said,“With every decision we make, it still comes down to the question, ‘Will this student succeed if they come here?’”

When asked about the large freshmen class, JCU tour guides expressed excitement.

“It’s easy to sell a product that shows a lot of success. John Carroll being a small, liberal arts school, we have a solid reputation for our business program, our sciences, and I think it’s really easy to promote that to incoming students,” said senior tour guide Ken Clar.

Junior tour guide Danielle Keane said that the passion the tour guides have for JCU definitely shows in the way they have represented the school to potential students.

“We all just genuinely love this school and it shows when we’re going through the tours. We’re laughing, telling stories about what made John Carroll so special to us. This is a place where you will have family.”