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The number of applications for Lycoming College’s Fall 2018 freshman class increased by 25 percent at a time when most colleges and universities in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic are experiencing flat or declining enrollment. The College received more than 2500 applications — up from 2000 just one year ago — and 361 students have already submitted an enrollment deposit, with the final number likely to approach 375, making one of the largest classes in a decade. At the same time, the College has increased selectivity with 65 percent of applicants accepted compared to 72 percent five years ago.
The surge in applications can be attributed to investments the College has made in new academic programs, facilities, and financial aid. In 2016, the College opened a Center for Enhanced Academic Experiences that seeks to provide all students with opportunities to complete an internship, study abroad and do research with faculty. It has also added new academic programs in neuroscience, astrophysics, biochemistry, and entrepreneurship, and a student life program in outdoor leadership and education while renovating five residence halls and building a new science center. Additionally, the College has committed to affordability by increasing the financial aid budget from $23 million to $32 million.
Improved rankings have also had a positive impact: Lycoming College was included for the first time in the Princeton Review’s “The Best 382 Colleges” and rose significantly in both the U.S. News and Washington Monthly rankings. Students who have chosen to enroll will benefit from a strong endowment of $213 million, which ranks among the highest per student in the country and translates into more resources for students.
For the third year in a row, the incoming class will be highly diverse as more than 30 percent are domestic students of color and the percentage of international students has doubled to 9 percent of the class. Pennsylvania students are well represented in the Class of 2022 but 50 percent hail from outside of Pennsylvania, including 19 states and Washington, D.C., while the countries of Canada, China, El Salvador, India, Japan, Mauritius, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sweden, and Vietnam are also represented.
“These strong enrollment numbers are a result of a concerted effort to increase the range of academic programs we offer and improve the quality of our facilities,” said Mike Konopski, vice president of enrollment management.
“The excitement on campus at this time of year is palpable. At the beginning of May, we launched the Class of 2018 into the world, and we now prepare to educate a very talented class of individuals who will bring energy, passion, ambition and diversity to our campus,” said President Kent C. Trachte, Ph.D. “We look forward to welcoming the Class of 2022 to orientation programs throughout the summer.”