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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Pushing the envelope

Graphic by Kaitlyn Patterson ’20.
Graphic by Kaitlyn Patterson ’20.

The applicant pool for the Class of 2021 breaks new ground


The regular admission application deadline for the class of 2021 at Saint Joseph’s University closed on Feb. 1. The Class of 2020 brought 8,613 applications and 8,638 applications for the class of 2021 rolled in as of Feb. 1.

The increase is not surprising, as essays, recommendation letters, and informational forms for admittance to the university class of 2021 are at higher levels at schools around the country this year—even breaking records at numerous campuses, according to USA Today College. St. Joe’s is no exception.

“It’s an opportunity for growth because everyone comes in with very open minds, and if they don’t, then their minds are opened when they come here,” Kaitlin Neinstedt, ’17, said. “It’s a breeding pool for change.”

One of the roots for this opportunity for growth comes from the wider applicant pool St. Joe’s is recruiting from. More diverse backgrounds bring more diverse ideas and experiences. The applicants this year came from 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and 58 foreign countries, making it a more geographically diverse applicant pool than last year. These numbers are encouraging as St. Joe’s focuses more efforts towards diversity and inclusion outreach and resources.

Of students who applied, 41 percent have visited St. Joe’s campus at least once for a tour, open house, info session, or another reason. The St. Joe’s admission volunteers could be a potential reason for the increase in visits.

Graphic by Kaitlyn Patterson ’20.

“Having outstanding tour guides plays a major role in the work we do as an institution and office,” said Maureen Mathis, assistant provost in the Office of Undergraduate Admission. “We could have the most phenomenal presentation, but what they will tell you was how they felt when they went out on tour and whether or not they connected with their tour guide. That includes everyone who volunteers with admissions for Scholars Weekend, Walk With a Hawk, and Admitted Students Day.”

Technology and social media have also played a key role in this year’s application pool. As a tool for communication with prospective students, the office of admissions utilizes Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook. “I think our Snapchat is really well done,” Mathis said. “I think people follow it, and prospective students expect to see it. People know who Jimmy from Snapchat is. Those students know who he is. That is not to take away from all the other students and all the great work they’ve done, but there’s a certain piece in creating a personality.”

Evan Addis, ’18, concurs that the role of technology has changed and improved his interactions with incoming freshmen.

“Each age difference is so different and drastically more interested in new things and more integrated into technology,” Addis said. “And it’s really cool to see the difference in their behavior based on what they’ve been surrounded by and what technology they grew up with. I learn a lot from them.”

The class of 2021 is likely to benefit from the larger, more diverse applicant pool, thorough Office of Admissions, and passionate,current students willing to meet and get involved with incoming students.

“I hope that they come to understand the mission of SJU and the Jesuit values that comprise our education,” Neinstedt said. “And I hope they come to understand that sooner than I did because it took me a while.”

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