Tag: admissions

Putting students first: Lawrence waives application fee, drops early decision deadline in admission process

Ten years after announcing it was joining a then-select few number of schools nationally that would no longer require ACT or SAT scores as a condition of admission, Lawrence University is implementing two more student-centered changes to its admission process.

Beginning with applicants for the 2016-2017 academic year, Lawrence will no longer require an application fee, dropping its long-standing $40 requirement with a submitted application.

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Ken Anselment, dean of admissions and financial aid

“While we may have appeared forward-thinking 10 years ago when we became a test-optional institution, we’ve been a little late to the party when it comes to eliminating the application fee,” said Ken Anselment, dean of admissions and financial aid. “Despite the budget implications for Lawrence, we felt it was important to simplify the process and eliminate any potential hurdle that would prevent a qualified student from considering Lawrence.”

The college also has eliminated its binding Early Decision admission process, replacing it with a non-binding Early Action process. Lawrence now has three standard admission deadlines: Nov. 1 Early Action 1; Dec.1 Early Action 2; Jan 15 Regular Decision.

“There are benefits to Lawrence to having an Early Decision option. It helps us with our enrollment planning and, because so many other selective colleges offer Early Decision, it makes us look ‘more prestigious,’” said Anselment. “But after we thought more deeply about it, and sought the advice of many in the college counseling profession, we realized that it doesn’t provide similar benefits to students.”

“With test-optional admission, no-fee applications and three non-binding admission deadlines, we hope to put students at the center of our admission process.”
— Ken Anselment

Students who apply for Early Admission to a college must make a commitment to enroll at that college if they are admitted, usually well in advance of the May 1 National Candidates Reply Date.

“We believe it is more beneficial to let the students fully consider all their options until May 1,” explained Anselment. “Admitted students who know Lawrence is the right place for them can certainly make their decisions as early as they’d like, but they will no longer need a binding agreement from Lawrence to do so.”

Ever since going test optional in 2006, about one quarter of Lawrence’s nearly 3,000 applicants have opted to forgo submitting ACT or SAT scores, letting their academic records and extra-curricular lives speak for themselves. The admission rates and scholarship opportunities for submitters and non-submitters have remained the same during the past decade as well.

“With test-optional admission, no-fee applications and three non-binding admission deadlines, we hope to put students at the center of our admission process, which is what we believe to be essential to our mission in providing a transformative college experience,” said Anselment.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College” and Fiske’s Guide to Colleges 2016. Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

Open House: Lawrence welcomes student visits July 13-18 for Wisconsin Private College Week

Lawrence University will hold a week-long “open house” for students and their families July 13-18 as part of the 20th annual Wisconsin Private College Week sponsored by the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU).

Private_College_Week_2015_newsblogStudents are invited to take advantage of campus tours, meet with admission counselors and get answers to financial aid and scholarship information questions during Wisconsin Private College Week. Students can register to win one of two iPads as part of a WAICU-administered drawing.

“While reading about a college online or in snazzy viewbooks is a nice way to learn the facts about a school,” said Ken Anselment, Lawrence’s dean of admissions & financial aid, “there’s nothing like a campus tour to fully engage all of your senses — which goes a long way toward helping you determine how you actually feel about a college.”

Lawrence is one of 24 state institutions participating in Wisconsin Private College Week. To schedule a visit, contact the Lawrence Admissions Office, 920-832-6500.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Lawrence Sets Student Application Record

In an application year that was beset with unusual phenomena, including a major glitch with the 2014 online Common Application and a shrinking number of college-bound students nationwide, Lawrence University still set an all-time high in freshman applications with 2,734 students — and counting — applying for admission for fall 2014 in advance of the May 1 National Candidates Reply Date.

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Ken Anselment

“We seemed to buck a trend this year in the upper Midwest,” said Ken Anselment, dean of admissions and financial aid. “In our primary areas of Wisconsin and Illinois, which has been and will continue to see shrinking numbers of 17- and 18-year-olds, we have seen an increase of about two percent in our applications.”

West, East Coasts Fuel Increase

This year’s application mark tops the college’s previous high of 2,711 set last year and represents a nearly nine percent increase from five years ago. Despite the record-setting number, Anselment said Lawrence is still accepting applications for the 2014-15 academic year “from those students who are a good fit for Lawrence.”

Contributing even more to Lawrence’s increase in applications is growth far beyond the Upper Midwest, most notably California, which grew 20 percent this year, as well as New York, up seven percent from last year. Both states are in Lawrence’s top five home states for applications.

Lawrence also set a record for international applications, 415 (and counting), with China leading the way with more than 130 applications, followed by Vietnam, Ghana, Jamaica, Pakistan and Canada.

“Quality and diversity appear to be on the rise with this class, which made our job of selecting students that much tougher,” said Anselment, whose admission staff has shifted its energy and attention from admitting this fall’s class to enrolling them.

Over the past month, hundreds of students have visited the campus to take an up-close look at Lawrence before making their final decisions by the May 1 deadline.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Trivial Differences: Lawrence Participates in National Study on Success of Test Score Submitters vs. Non-Submitters

Lawrence University was one of 33 college and universities in the country that participated in a national study that found no significant difference in the success rates of students who submit standardized test scores for admission to colleges and those who don’t.

Ken-Anselment-weblog
Ken Anselment, dean of admissions and financial aid

Lawrence has been test optional — it does not require student to submit ACT or SAT scores as part of their application — since the start of the 2006-07 academic year.

The study, “Defining Promise: Optional Standardized Testing Policies in American College and University Admissions,” was conducted by Principal Investigator William C. Hiss, former vice president and dean of admissions at Bates College.

Hiss’ research found in the study of colleges with test optional admission policies there were no significant differences in either cumulative GPA or graduation rates between submitters and non-submitters.

“Since we went test-optional, about 75 percent of our applicants have submitted their standardized test results for our admission review. The rest have not,” said Ken Anselment, dean of admissions and financial aid at Lawrence. “The admission rates for both groups have been the same, and, more important, the achievements of the students once they arrive at Lawrence also have been similarly successful.”

The study, which examined the records of 123,000 students, found the differences between test score submitters and non-submitters were .05 point of a grade point average, 2.88 vs. 2.83, respectively, and the graduation rate for submitters was only 0.6 of one percent higher than non-submitters.

“By any standard, these are trivial differences,” Hiss said in his report.

Lawrence was one of 20 private colleges and universities in the study, which also included data from six public universities, five minority-serving institutions and two arts institutions. The schools in the study had enrollments ranging from 350 students to 50,000 and were located in 22 U.S. states and territories.

“We have long known that there are more important predictors for success in college than standardized test results,” said Anselment. “And this national study provides significant proof that that is, indeed, true.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

An Exciting New Year

In_the_Mail

While most of the world is counting down to the end of 2013, the Lawrence University admissions team is hitting the fast forward button to 2018. Admit packets are in the mail to 600 seniors who applied for Early Action admission—inviting them to join the Lawrence Class of 2018. Members of the admissions staff (pictured) merrily carried admit packets to the Lawrence mailroom earlier this week.

“While holiday cards and letters fill mailboxes this holiday season, we suspect there’s a little more joy when that envelope comes from Lawrence,” said Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Ken Anselment. “We hope that for these students and their families, receiving an admit packet from Lawrence makes for a nice holiday gift.”

For those students still considering Lawrence, there’s still time! The deadline for Regular Decision is January 15.

Lawrence Cited Among Nation’s Best Values by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Lawrence University has been named one of the country’s best values among private colleges by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance in its 2014 annual list of the top 100 private universities and top 100 liberal arts colleges from among the nation’s more than 2,100 four-year, not-for-profit, public and private colleges.

Best Values NewsblogLawrence, ranked 96th, and the other schools selected for the 2014 list, represent the colleges that provide high-quality academics at a reasonable cost. Kiplinger’s draws its list from colleges that exemplify the attributes parents and students look for in higher education, including small class sizes, a good freshman retention rate and a high four-year graduation rate.

“It may seem counterintuitive to have so many private colleges—which generally look quite expensive—listed as ‘values,’” said Ken Anselment, Lawrence’s dean of admissions and financial aid, “but Kiplinger’s has hit the right notes in their assessment by shining a light on the return on the investment. It’s a subtle, but important shift in perspective.”

In compiling its rankings, Kiplinger’s measure academic quality and affordability. Academic criteria include the student admission rate, the test scores of incoming freshmen, student-faculty ratio, and the four- and five-year graduation rates. On the cost side, Kiplinger’s measures the sticker price, the availability and average amount of need-based and merit-based financial aid, and the average student debt at graduation.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.