It’s been a banner year for admissions at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT)Freshmen applications to NJIT have increased by 13 percent since last year, according to William Anderson, Ph.D., associate vice president of enrollment services.
At this time last year, the admissions office had received 821 undergraduate applications. It now has 928 undergraduate applications in hand, an increase of 107, or 13 percent.
Anderson attributes the increase in applicants to a number of factors, including NJIT’s recent efforts to enhance its image and brand by adopting uniform and attractive publications that portray NJIT as a close-knit and technologically focused university. The recruitment brochures sent to high school students were greatly improved, he said, as was the university Website. The brochures, many of which featured women students in the photographs, had one common theme: that an education at NJIT can have a positive effect on students’ lives and their future careers.
“Cause and effect is a theme that resonates with prospective students,” Anderson said, “since it’s so common in science and applies directly to students who want to get a professional and technical education.”
There were increases in applications to a number of schools and in many areas of study. The number of women who applied for the fall increased by 30 percent over last year; the Albert Dorman Honors College had an increase its applicant pool by 46 percent; the School of Management’s applicants grew by 38 percent; School of Architecture by 28 percent; College of Science and Liberal Arts by 22 percent increase; and the Newark College of Engineering by 13 percent.
The deans of the six colleges also helped spur applicants by sponsoring career days and design contests that brought high school students onto campus, said Anderson Some of those students ended up applying to NJIT, Anderson said. The campus is also undergoing a renovation, which helps attract students.
Demographic trends also helped, he said. The children of the baby boomers – known as the baby echo – continue to enter high school in record numbers. The total number of high school seniors in New Jersey for this year is 91,417, a 3 percent increase over last year’s total of 89,392 high school seniors. The number of high school students is expected to increase until 2008, according to “Knocking at the College Door,” a report issued jointly by the College Board and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.
Kathy Kelly, director of undergraduate admissions for NJIT, also noted that a robust economy usually means applicants increase at the more expensive private universities. Conversely, a weak economy boosts applications to public universities, she said. “A very strong marketing and public relations campaign has also gotten the word out about NJIT,” said Kelly. “That we have a variety of strong academic programs.”