Cover Story: No Vacancy

Charlotte Etherton/The Northerner

Charlotte Etherton/The Northerner

Charlotte Etherton/The Northerner

Charlotte Etherton/The Northerner

NKU has had its share of haters dubbing the university No Knowledge University.’ For the first time in the university’s history, now with more prospective students than there is space to teach them, NKU has to cap admissions.
‘The NKU brand is very strong and we have an outstanding faculty and staff who care deeply about students,’ said Melissa Gorbandt, director of admissions outreach.

Unfortunately this ‘quality-made, community-driven’ education NKU is trying to provide isn’t being adequately funded, ‘The university’s historic underfunding and reductions in state funding in recent years have made it difficult for the university to continue grow,” Gorbandt added.

NKU concluded that the postponement of any applicant who applied after July 1 with more than one academic deficiency would be admitted for the Spring 2010 semester, instead of the Fall 2009 semester.

‘Typically, students with multiple deficiencies who apply late in the process do not perform as well academically as those who apply earlier.’ We felt that this approach could limit some of our enrollment for fall and’ place these students in a better position to succeed in the spring semester,’ said Joel Robinson, associate vice president of enrollment management.

Despite the postponement of some student’s education, NKU is still facing the problem of too many students.’ To further deal with this, NKU is taking a bit of a gamble ‘We also anticipate that several of the students that we denied for fall will decide to go to a local community college, such as Gateway Community and Technical College instead.’ Many will likely remain at the community college for two years and transfer to NKU as juniors,’ Robinson said.

Along with capping admissions, NKU has other options to spread out this new influx of students.’ ‘NKU has ample classroom space, there are times on campus when there are many empty classrooms.’ Not all classes are offered at the same time, so NKU could offer classes at a greater variety of times,’ noted Larry Blake, assistant vice president facilities management.

For students who are concerned about NKU losing its private school feel, Gorbandt expressed that ‘NKU remains committed to providing students with an up close and personal experience.’ There has been no measurable change in the average class size in recent years.’ The university has made maintaining small class sizes a top priority for the future.’

This policy change has affected NKU’s admissions process, ‘Because of the strong demand we experienced this year, we have moved the assured consideration deadline for fall 2010 to May 1.’ If we see similar demand this coming year, we anticipate that we will once again take steps to limit enrollment,’ Gorbandt said.

Along with the policy change, NKU’s target prospective student has changed from years past.’

‘In the past few years we have observed steady increases in the number of new freshmen enrolling at NKU with an ACT of 25 or higher.’ We have also seen increases in the number of students enrolled with no deficiencies,” Gorbandt said.