ULV enrolls largest class in history

Campus Times
September 18, 1998


by Araceli Esparza
Editorial Director

Due to refined recruiting tactics, greater financial eligibility and other factors, enrollment at the University of La Verne for the 1998-99 academic year has increased significantly. With a total of 440 new undergraduate students currently enrolled for the fall semester, ULV falls witness to the largest class in its history.

Lisa Meyer, director of undergraduate admissions, recognized several links as vital contributors to this increase. Meyer, who began employment with the University in June, credits much responsibility to her Admissions team and other conjunctive departments.

"I can't take a lot of credit for what happened this year," said Meyer. "A lot of what happened took place before I arrived here."

According to Meyer, of the 440 new students, 318 are classified as freshmen, while 122 add to the population of transfer students. In addition, 257 (58 percent) of those students are female, and 183 are male.

These increases are due to the fact that various factors have changed within several areas of the University. For example, although academic standards for prospective students will remain the same for the first year, Admissions implemented its new plan to "grow the [incoming] class," said Meyer.

Also, because finances have often been a determining factor for enrollment, the Admissions and Financial Aid departments worked together to help package students with scholarships and grants whenever possible.

"Students who have a 3.5 GPA [grade point average] or higher receive a $6,000 Trustee scholarship from the University. Students eligible for Cal Grant, and who have above a 3.5 GPA, receive a $9,000 Cal Grant," said Meyer. "That means that a student with a 3.5 or higher GPA who qualifies for the Cal Grant receives $15,000 in scholarships.

"That basically covers their tuition expenses for the year."

Regarding new marketing techniques, admission counselors and staff looked at students who "tend to be interested in the University," and expressed to them exactly what ULV had to offer toward their needs.

"We really put in a lot of work in spring and during summer," said Will Darity, one of six admissions counselors at ULV.

According to Darity, one of the largest challenges throughout the recruitment process included the periods in which the Admissions office was left short-staffed due to turnovers. He added that, although Admissions is "not a 9 to 5 job," there were many times in which the staff contributed 13-15 hours a day, on average about 11-12 hours daily.

"It was a matter of getting the job done," said Darity. "I give a lot of credit to Shawn [Weede, admissions counselor] and Makayla [Benjamin, admissions counselor] because they helped package students for financial aid."

Darity also gave credit to Debbie Marquez, office manager of the department, whom he described as "the rock of the office" because of her part in aiding the admission process.

Overall, the Office of Admissions made significant efforts to attract more new students to the University. Because the process was a year-long task, recruitment included vital factors such as follow-ups, letters and personal phone calls to prospective students.

Meyer said, "I am very proud and pleased with what this office did this year."

"When you finally see them [new students] on campus, it's a rewarding experience," said Darity, "and that makes the 10-13 hour days rewarding."

"Because we worked as a team, and because we were all committed to bring in this [new] class, there's a tremendous sense of accomplishment for all of us," he said. "Lisa Meyer is largely responsible for that."