Beyond the green trees and blooming flowers that signify the arrival of spring in Ann Arbor, students know warmer weather also brings a swarm of high school students from across the country trying to determine if the University is the right fit for them. The swarm has been growing every year, according to University officials, with the largest increases seen in the College of Engineering and the School of Kinesiology.
University Provost Philip Hanlon said there was an increase in the number of applications this year, but the University will not increase enrollment. Hanlon said he is hopeful the University will reach its target enrollment number of 5,960 students, which has not been altered in previous years.
“We’ve had a very significant growth in applications again this year,” Hanlon said. “We’re confident that we will meet our target and hopefully we will be close to target and not too far over — that’s always the balancing act.”
After the University’s adoption of the Common Application in 2010, there has been a significant increase in application statistics each year. There were a total of 41,600 applicants for Fall 2012 compared to the 38,700 applying for Fall 2011.
Hanlon said while there will be preliminary enrollment numbers after the acceptance deadline on May 1, the actual number of students enrolled will be lower due to “melt,” which occurs when students who have already accepted admission decide not to got to the University.
“There is always significant melt over the summer,” Hanlon said. “(Students are) not supposed to do that, but they’ll accept admission to multiple places and then make a decision.”
The melt for out-of-state applicants is between 7 and 9 percent and is smaller for Michigan residents, according to Hanlon. The official enrollment numbers are not announced until three weeks into the fall semester.
Hanlon said the incoming class was selected in order to be more well-rounded, but the demographic makeup will become available in the fall with the official enrollment numbers.
“We will be, as always, focused on building a class that’s diverse in multiple dimensions and is also very high quality and excellent in its academic preparations,” Hanlon said.
The Ross School of Business is no exception to the increase of applicants in recent years. In the expectancy of this trend continuing, more students will be admitted in 2015, according to William Pierce, director of BBA admissions, and Paul Kirsch, managing director of the BBA program.
“We are expanding our class for the fall admission by 80 (to a total of) 500 students,” Pierce and Kirsch said in a joint interview. “We want to give qualified students the opportunity to earn a BBA degree.”
The BBA officials explained that additional class sections will be opened in order to avoid overcrowding in classrooms.
Ann Hower, director of the Office of New Student Programs, acknowledged the growth in applicants to the University in recent years, noting that the ONSP has made changes to account for the growth.
“A couple of years ago, we had a significant bump in the number of attendees, so we added orientation sessions to accommodate those numbers,” Hower said. “We have new freshmen and transfer students coming in, as well as veterans, so we have mentorship programs tailored for all groups.”
The ONSP plans events like Campus Day where prospective students considering the University can learn more about campus life. According to the University’s admissions website, the aim of Campus Day is to answer questions from students and parents and familiarize them with the University’s setting.
LSA senior Carly Goldberg, a Campus Day leader, said she is most excited about talking to students who have never been on campus.
“We divide up into panels. All the students ask questions about Greek life and housing, and parents ask a lot about orientation, advising and choosing majors,” she said.
Sam Gringlas, a current senior at North Farmington High School in Farmington Hills, Mich., attended a Campus Day session and said it made the process of learning about the University‘s various opportunities less intimidating.
“I knew I wanted to be part of a community within such a big school,” Gringlas said. “I looked at Michigan Community Scholars but decided that the honors program was the best fit.”
Correction Appended: A previous version of this article misstated the number of students who will be pursuing a BBA degree in the fall.