New applications increase, scores higher on ACT

Northern Kentucky University’s freshman applications are on the rise as well as those students’ ACT scores, according to an admissions report released April 17.

Freshman applications are up more than 500 from last year, as opposed to a drop of approximately 150 from 2004 to 2005. Similarly, the amount of freshman applicants who met NKU’s regular admission standards rose more than 200 from last year, compared to very little change from 2004 to 2005. According to the report, the number of diversity applications is also up more than 150 from last year.

According to Joel Robinson, assistant vice president of Enrollment Management, this increase comes as more people are realizing how good of a university NKU is. “The quality and great programs have been here all along; it’s about just getting the word out,” he said.

“Under President (James) Votruba’s leadership, we are doing a better job of telling our story,” Robinson said. “What he has done in terms of public engagement has gotten us more involved with the community.”

NKU’s recruitment efforts have increased dramatically in the past couple years according to Melissa Gorbandt, director of Admissions Outreach. “We have a very comprehensive recruitment plan that allows high school students to look at NKU as an option for them,” she said. This plan includes increasing information to high school students through direct mail, e-mailing and telecounseling.

“The kinds of students we have attracted applications from have high expectations, and we feel we’ve done a fantastic job in getting them to give NKU serious consideration,” Gorbandt said.

According to Gorbandt, support and recruitment from alumni have also played a big role. “NKU graduates in the community allow everyone to see what type of leadership we have at the university,” she said. “Our graduates are doing fabulous things in the community and the word filters out.”

Another new feature attracting students to NKU is the increase in scholarships available. “We redistributed funds to be able to offer more scholarships,” Robinson said. The number of scholarships offered rose from 436 last year to 629 this year. Last year, 64 percent of offered scholarships were accepted, and according to Robinson many students have already accepted offers this year. The deadline is May 1.

Having a comprehensive program to help students who do not meet the regular admission standards also lures students to apply to NKU. To be admitted under regular admission standards, students must have a composite ACT score of 20, with at least a score of 18 in English, math and reading. “We have a program that allows students that may need some assistance in one or two academic areas to enroll at NKU and be placed in appropriate courses,” Gorbandt said.

According to Robinson and Gorbandt, the future of NKU looks promising. Their departments are working on additions to the current recruitment plans to ensure that the freshman application numbers keep rising.