SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER
The incoming class of freshmen slated to enroll at Franciscan University in the fall is projected to be the largest in the university’s history, according to the Office of Admissions.
Chris Krivoniak, director of Admissions, said that his office has received over 2,000 applications for admission, the highest number ever and one that continues to grow every day. Krivoniak said the university’s goal is to enroll 670 new full-time students for the next academic year.
While the amount of transfers seems to be holding steady, Krivoniak said, the number of first-time freshmen is driving up the admission application rate.
“We’ve seen a record number of applications, acceptances and even deposits compared to this point last year,” he said. “You never want to count your chicken before they’re hatched … but we can predict based on past history on what we think will happen, and we really do think that we will settle past that 670 mark.”
Despite several rumors of last year’s incoming class holding 900 students or more, Krivoniak said that the actual number was 646 – still the largest group in university history to this point.
Krivoniak said that the increasing numbers point to a trend for Franciscan University contrary to the status quo of higher education today.
“The trend in higher education is not where we’re headed,” he said. “The trend is declining enrollment for many schools, specifically smaller, 4-year, private, liberal arts schools.”
“We’re bucking that trend here,” Krivoniak said.
The reason for that, Krivoniak said, is quite simple: Franciscan offers an education that is “second to none.” He said the school’s rigorous academics, ability to be guided by faith and commitment to serve students is what continues to draw students to enroll.
“We’ve worked very diligently to ensure that our programs have the merit that is attractive to students and that coupled with the work we do here in admissions and across the university, sets up this perfect scenario for students being attracted to Franciscan University,” Krivoniak said.
The university is already making plans to accommodate the incoming class of students. The new residence hall, St. Junipero Serra Hall, is currently undergoing renovation and is slated to be finished in time for the fall semester. Krivoniak said that the university’s Space Planning Committee is constantly working to find ways to use the classroom space most efficiently.
The university recently unveiled its 20-year plan, which includes having 25,000 enrollment at the university by the end of it. Krivoniak said that the Rev. Sean Sheridan, TOR, the university president, along with other members of the administration, feels very strongly that the plan is “divinely inspired,” which is why so much effort is being spent in the Office of Admissions to attract students.
“The university has a tremendous growth for vision,” Krivoniak said. “We feel that the Lord is calling us to grow so that we can serve more and more people, students specifically, and educate them not just in their choice of major, but also educate them in faith and reason.”
While he couldn’t say for certain, Krivoniak said that he believes that the current trend of increasing enrollment will continue in the future. He said that the university is already accepting applications for the fall 2019 semester, in addition to the fall 2018 semester, and has begun seeing results for that.