Butler University’s Office of Admission projects the class of 2017 to be smaller than the record-breaking class of 2016.
Tom Weede, vice president for enrollment management, said the goal is a freshman class of 1,050 students.
“There have been lots of discussions about whether or not we should grow,” Weede said, “but discussing growth is very different than actually growing.”
Applications have gone down by 4 percent, which is natural after a large jump in population. Weede attributes that jump to great success of the men’s basketball team in 2010 and 2011.
The number of students graduating from college nationally is also steadily declining, Weede said.
The office is being more selective with who it accepts than in previous years.
High school curricula, GPAs, test scores, personal essays, recommendations and applicants’ activities are all being taken into consideration holistically but more critically than in previous years, Weede said.
“We are consciously making an effort to maintain control by admitting fewer students, but we must balance that with to maintain control by admitting fewer students, but we must balance that with how many students we think will actually come to Butler,” Weede said.
Trends emerging in this year’s applicant pool include more out-of-state students than in-state students, as well as a large growth in students interested in majoring in business.
Weede said that trend is probably due, in part, to a large amount of positive press for the College of Business.
The current freshman class is 1,111 students.
In 2010, the application pool increased by 24 percent. In 2011, the freshman class decreased again slightly.
Weede said the ebb and flow of applicants is natural and keeps the campus population somewhat stable.
Freshman Annie Sparrow said she was relieved to hear that Butler is letting in fewer students.
“I think it’s definitely a good thing that Butler is being more selective with this incoming class,” Sparrow said. “Butler is known to be a smaller school, and we’re running out of space.“
Sparrow said she could see the benefits to having a smaller class.
“Sometimes I wish my class was a little bit smaller, but it’s not too overwhelming,” Sparrow said.
Sophomore Michelle Ferro said Butler’s size was one of the most appealing aspects to her as an incoming freshman. She still enjoys that atmosphere today.
“I really liked the idea that with smaller class sizes I could have an opportunity to get to know my professors better and seek help if I needed it,” Ferro said. “I’ve worried that if Butler decided to grow much larger that I wouldn’t have that same experience.”
Academic days and college days for admitted and prospective students are happening now and will continue throughout the rest of the semester.
Admitted students have until May 1 to put down a deposit and reserve their place in the freshman class.