Today marks the first day of spring semester classes at LMU. It is incredibly nice to see students walking around campus once again as I walk to a meeting or glance out my office window.
This is also the week of our main freshman application deadline (Regular Decision), January 15. As a result, just like there is renewed activity across campus, there is a lot of activity in the Admission Office. We expect to receive several thousand applications this week.
Deadlines are great motivators, and students do their applications like grownups do their taxes, meaning that even with the best of intentions, it is not uncommon to discover that we need to use every day or even every minute allotted to us. We generally receive over 50% of our applications in the final 10 days leading up to the deadline. Last year, when we topped 13,000 applications for the first time, we had received 6,533 of them as of January 8 and 7,552 on January 14!
In the old days, it was common for an admission office to publish a picture of their staff surrounded by mail bins overflowing with mail. Since each applicant sends transcripts and recommendations in addition to the application form itself, 5,000 applications would mean at least 15,000 pieces of mail, all arriving in the same week. It would take us most of the following week just to go through and alphabetize it all so it could be filed. Now, virtually all these documents are sent electronically. Our software system matches them to the appropriate student’s digital application file. Staff no longer has to alphabetize or file, and getting the applications ready for evaluation – a job that used to take 2-3 weeks – now takes 2-3 days. Plus, nothing gets accidentally misfiled. The wonders of technology!
We spend a lot of time in early January each year communicating with students who have let us know that LMU is among the schools they are considering but who have not yet applied. This year, we created a 10 day email campaign built around the popular “top ten” concept. Each day, these students receive an email with a different reason they should complete their application to LMU. We began January 6 with reason #10, and we’ll send reason #1 on January 15. You can check out these Top Ten Reasons at on our Facebook page. Let me know if you like the idea, and if you agree with our list.
Happy New Year!