Predictions suggest 15-year low for student enrollment
The student population has been declining since 2006, as smaller incoming classes continue to replace larger graduating classes.
The upcoming school year will follow this pattern. The current enrollment is 738 students, but after the class of 2011 graduates, approximately 40 to 50 of those seats will not be refilled by the class of 2016.
The 2010-2011 year began with 157 freshmen, and as of April 19, the admissions department met their benchmark of 170 registered freshmen for the upcoming school year. If class size remains at this benchmark, the total student population will dip to 690 students.
Admissions Director Jesse Roberts created this benchmark after researching historical data and demographic studies to establish next year’s budget and to meet target revenue levels, according to O’Hara.
Though the class of 2014 has a girl-to-boy ratio of 66 to 34, next year the ratio of girls to boys will be a more even 51 to 49—marking an essentially gender-equal freshman class for the first time since 2007.
“There’s lots of opportunity for young people here. We’re looking to fill spots in rosters, and plays, and desks,” Roberts said.
Not all students complete four full years at JC, but according to Roberts the “phone’s still ringing” and transfer students are looking to enroll.
O’Hara says that the retention rate of freshmen has historically been at 97.5%. If enrollment continues to increase with incoming freshman classes, the chances of JC having class sizes in the 200 range again will increase greatly.
Taking matters into his own hands, Roberts has spent his first year at JC making changes to the marketing process. “When you looked at the old marketing items, you saw a daunting picture of Archbishop John Carroll. I’m looking to take a more personalized approach to our new materials,” Roberts said.
These new approaches include “big, bright pictures” and insight into the lives of students who actually attend to the school. Roberts is looking to focus in on the JC experience from the inside to draw students in.
“Mrs. Brueggeman and I can only walk the prospective students to the front doors. It’s what’s inside that really brings students to the school,” Roberts said.
Allison Siegel is the Print Chief for “The Patriot.”