Query answered? How has the pandemic affected Ripon Faculty enrollment and recruitment? | information


How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected Ripon College enrollment and recruitment?


Enrollment and recruitment at Ripon College has been less affected by the pandemic than other colleges and universities across the country, as college enrollment is typically 787 and fall enrollment was 816, up from 788 the previous year.

According to Deputy Dean of the Faculty and Registrar Michele Wittler, the spring enrollment is 743, which is still the same as last spring when the enrollment was 739

Even so, the pandemic has forced the college to get creative by offering virtual options for freshman recruitment.

Ripon College introduced a larger first-year class last fall than last year, according to Jennifer Machacek, vice president of enrollment management.

“Just before we left for the pandemic a year ago, we were very far ahead and thought we were well on the way to a record year,” she said. “Then the pandemic hit. We were still ahead, but it slowed down a bit [because] A number of children have chosen to move or stay closer to home, which was not uncommon in many colleges and universities. “

For the fall semester of that school year, Machacek said the college enrolled a total of 241 freshmen.

So far, she found that the college has 179 freshmen enrolled for next fall. Around this time last year she added that 153 freshmen were enrolled. There were only 112 freshmen enrolled in the college last year.

Machacek attributed the upward trend to several factors, including the fact that it is an “optional testing facility” – meaning that students do not need to submit their SAT or ACT results – and the way campus visits are made during the Pandemic were handled.

While many colleges and universities became test optional due to COVID-19, she found that Ripon College already had experience as an optional test school.

“We were already very familiar with the process of how we evaluate an application without a test result, how scholarships are set up and the like,” said Machacek. “I think other schools just got thrown in and learned their way through this recruitment cycle.”

Regarding campus visits, she noted that Ripon College was “very careful” to follow security protocols to allow students to visit campus.

Until mid-June 2020, says Machacek, the admissions teams held socially distant visits.

“We would take four [students] per day they would be very far apart, they would meet with admissions and they would go on tour, ”she said. “You never crossed another person on campus. And we felt that we could do it while other schools just wouldn’t let children come to visit campus. “

Machacek added that Ripon College had no problem with families willing to follow public health guidelines during their tours. In fact, the college is now taking seven potential students on tours every day.

Additionally, she found that Ripon College found a way to run virtual tours and host meet and greets with students digitally.

“We really tried to virtually turn everything we did mostly on campus around for students,” she said.

Before the pandemic, however, Machacek said the college did not hold virtual tours or virtual events with potential students.

Now, she said, Ripon College is doing virtual high school visits, attending virtual college fairs, and doing Ripon-specific online programs.

“We will be establishing ways that students and their parents can schedule a Zoom appointment with an admissions advisor. They can take a video tour with one of our current tour guides,” said Machacek. “If you want to set up Zoom appointments with any of the other departments on campus – financial support, faculty, trainers – they can do things like that.”

The college also offers comprehensive virtual tours that work similarly to the Street View feature in Google Maps.

As well as offering virtual tours, Machacek added that campus had been working to create more video marketing to attract students as well.

In fact, Ripon College plans to continue using digital recruiting tools beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

What this means for you:

Because Ripon College is a private institution, enrollment and tuition fees are a significant source of funding for the school, which accounts for approximately 70% of the college’s income, according to Machacek.

“Enrollment goals are very important to the college as it is a significant source of income,” she said.

Additionally, Ripon College helps support the larger Ripon community, and vice versa, as some of its graduates make a living in the Ripon area, adding to the local economy and workforce.

“I love the relationship the college has with the city and I hope it continues to grow,” she said. “It’s a really important relationship.”

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