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Mills Slowly Grows

Although Mills failed to make this year’s enrollment goal, President Janet Holmgren told incoming students last week that their arrival was part of the largest student body in the college’s history.

The goal, which was set in 1993, called for 1,000 undergraduate students by this year. The Weekly estimates this year’s undergraduate enrollment is about 908. However, exact numbers were not available at press time.

Avis Hinkson, dean of admissions, told the orientation crowd during the welcoming ceremony that, at that time, there were 251 expected incoming students this semester. She refused to comment on any enrollment numbers until after they are official.

Combined undergraduate and graduate enrollment, at approximately 1,159, is 240 short of the 1993 goal for total enrollment. Last year’s total enrollment was 1,100. This year’s numbers were not official because students are still registering.

According to Ron Clement, assistant director of graduate studies, there are approximately 213 new graduate students this semester, keeping with that department’s enrollment goal.

Although graduate enrollment was down after increasing last year, Clement said he was pleased with the numbers. “When you have a two year program, you don’t want to grow that much every year,” he said.

Applications to both programs did increase-undergraduate applications were up 11 percent and graduate applications increased by 14 percent.

Clement noted that many students do not attend schools they apply and even leave deposits for.

“All schools lose students in every step, from applications, to acceptance, to enrollment.” He said that there were “as many reasons for deciding not to come as there are people who make that choice.”

Some graduate students decided not to attend Mills even after they paid the $300 graduate deposit.

The students who did decide to attend classes this year are a diverse group. Thirty-seven percent of undergraduates who accepted their admission are women of color. There were 14 undergraduate mothers in that group. Twenty-one languages are spoken by the 251 undergraduates whom admissions officials were expecting at orientation. There was also an expected Mills first, a graduate father whose daughters also attend Mills.