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Applications to IU running ahead of '08 pace

By Nicole Brooks

April 2, 2009

Numbers also up at local Ivy Tech campus

Ivy Tech Community College uses an open enrollment process, so comparing this year with last is difficult, said Chancellor John Whikehart.

But it is safe to say the application numbers are up, he said.

Student applications for summer classes are up 42 percent over this time last year, Whikehart said. Last year at this time Ivy Tech had received 1,326 applications for fall classes. They now have 1,463, he said.

"But those are day-to-day."

Ivy Tech's campus already suffers from lack of space, and construction funding is now in the hands of the state Senate.

"We're looking as some other things. I'm looking right now at how we are scheduling our courses for the fall," Whikehart said. He hopes to maximize all classroom space, he said. And while the Ivy Tech campus in Indianapolis has offered Sunday classes, Whikehart has no plans to try that here, he said.

Ivy Tech will host an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the main campus' Student Commons at 200 Daniels Way.

Prospective students and their families can meet Ivy Tech students, faculty, and staff. The open house will provide information on financial aid, scholarship and student life opportunities, and transfer options. Attendees will have the chance to register for both summer and fall 2009 classes.

For more information, contact Heidi at, or 330-6024 or Vonda at or 330-6040.

Made wary by last fall's record-high freshman enrollment, Indiana University administrators had considered cutting off fall 2009 applications April 1.

But because the economy presents more questions than answers, prospective students have until May 1 to apply.

“Even though we're up, I just think there's a lot of families out there that are being squeezed a number of different ways," Roger Thompson, IU's vice provost for enrollment management, said of fall 2009 applications. They are up about 6 percent over this time last year, he said.

IU had 32,186 freshman applications Friday, compared with the 30,367 submitted by that date last year.

And that's for a freshman class Thompson wants to see hover at just over 7,000 students.

“We don't have any more space," he said. “We can't enroll a class of 7,600" — which IU nearly did last fall with its record breaking class of 7,564 students.

“One of the interesting things we're seeing is we're up in applications. We're up diversity-wise, we're up in terms of quality," Thompson said. “But right now for deposits, we're actually trailing a little bit."

Friday, enrollment deposits were down 12 percent from this time in 2008. But the number changes daily, Thompson said, and has most consistently been down 8 or 9 percent.

He credits the economy with the drop in the required $100 enrollment deposits, which are applied to tuition. “Families may make one deposit this year. I really do believe we're not going to see multiple deposits."

Thompson said he is not worried about the decrease in deposits, because students have until May 1 to pay them. “More than two-thirds of our deposits come in the month of April."

The economy may impact families' decision-making processes in ways IU can't predict, he said. This is not a typical year, and as such, typical models can't be followed, he said.

Most surprising is the number of applications from international students, which are up 39 percent over this time last year, from 2,500 to 1,800. International student applications have almost doubled since 2007, when they numbered 1,479, Thompson said.

“That's a huge jump. I think we've worked real hard internationally to raise our profile," he said.

Applications from in-state and out-of-state students are each up 6 percent over last year, he said.

As of Wednesday, IU had received 11,924 freshman applications from Indiana residents; 20,096 from nonresidents — which includes international students — and 166 from unclassified students. Those applicants, Thompson said, are often high school students who graduate from boarding or military schools in Indiana but who live elsewhere.

It is typical for IU to get twice as many applications from out-of-state students as from in-state students, Thompson said. While IU's freshman enrollment has grown over the years, the number of freshman in-state students has stayed fairly steady at around 4,000, Thompson said.

The state government subsidizes 20,500 in-state students, and IU makes up the tuition difference for every enrolled resident student over that cap, Thompson said. IU this year has more than 22,000 in-state students in a student body of just over 40,000.