Fordham reached two milestones for the 2000-2001 academic year before it even began. Not only is the class of 2004 the University’s largest class to date, but it is also one of the most diverse, according to data compiled by Fordham’s Office of Undergraduate Admission in August. “There are many reasons for the appeal of Fordham University for a growing applicant pool,” said the Rev. Joseph A. O’Hare, S.J., University president. “The dedicated and imaginative work of our admissions staff, and indeed the entire enrollment group, has been critical to our success in recent years.” The class of 2004 is six percent larger than last year’s incoming freshman class, with an anticipated total of 1,681 students. This increase comes as no surprise to John Buckley, dean of undergraduate admission, considering the 8,900 applications received from 48 states across the country. Since 1991, applications have increased by more than 130 percent, and 2000 marks the ninth consecutive year that Fordham has had more undergraduate applicants than in the previous year.
“We have engaged in a whole series of initiatives that have facilitated growth,” said Buckley. “There is a much more strategic approach to undergraduate admission than ever before.” Aside from its size, the incoming freshman class also represents one of the most diverse collection of students in the Fordham’s history. Geographically, the class is comprised of individuals from 43 states, with increases from last year in the number of students coming from California (up 65 percent), Florida (up 57 percent) and New England (up 16 percent). The ethnic and racial diversity among the class shows 3 percent more students of African American, Asian and Hispanic descent than last year’s freshman class. Buckley attributes Fordham’s growth on these fronts to the several strategies that have been employed to attract multicultural students to the University.
One such effort is on-campus, multicultural receptions that were held in the fall and spring this past year. Here, prospective and admitted students addressed issues of diversity with members of the community at Fordham in a relaxed, informal atmosphere. According to Buckley, another successful tool is the Council on Undergraduate Enrollment (CUE. The group, comprised of 20 administrators and faculty, including the President, discuss such matters as recruitment strategies, financial aid policies and various other enrollment matters. “We’re making many more informed decisions with the use of data analysis,” said Buckley. “We are able to analyze application and enrollment patterns, and then integrate that information into our enrollment strategies.”