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Admissions rise high above expectations

Tentative numbers from the admissions office place this year's undergraduate population at 851 students, a 12 percent increase from last year. Actual numbers were not available at press time, but Mills students may have noticed increased enrollment in their classes as well as the freshwoman presence in Orchard Meadow Hall.

The increase is largely due to a strategic plan that called for an undergraduate body of 800 students by 2007. The office of admissions achieved this goal earlier than planned. This year, 1,219 individuals applied, 80 percent more than last year and 25 percent over the all-time record. Seventy-seven percent of the applicants were accepted, a seven percent difference from last year's 83 percent acceptance rate. This year's freshwoman class is approximately 203, with 140 transfer students also entering this year.

Last year, admissions expanded its recruitment strategy, delving more deeply into its inquiry pool and increasing recruitment efforts in states such as Hawaii, Massachusetts and New York. According to Julie Richardson, vice president of enrollment management, admissions strives to cultivate and build relationships with its applicants.

"I've been told," said Richardson, "that nobody works as hard to build a personal relationship than Mills." Richardson said that admissions made an effort to bring that interaction to a higher level last year, with very positive results.

"It's the result of hard work from everyone," said Richardson.

Now that the trustees' goal of an 800-person undergraduate body has been fulfilled, they will begin looking at a new plan. The school is planning for further growth, hiring new faculty and building new housing next to the Underwood Apartments, which are slated to be available by fall 2006.

This fall will serve as a time for strategic modeling, viewing how the students now fit in the residential halls and classrooms, and future plans will be made accordingly.