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More visibility prompts new class growth

Freshman class increased in response to application increases

Published: Monday, February 24, 2014

Updated: Monday, February 24, 2014 23:02

number 2

William Guerra

As high school seniors receive general acceptance letters to Texas A&M this week, the Class of 2018 is posed to follow the trend of increased attendance rates at Texas A&M.

Jon Buchanan, director of the Aggieland Prospective Student Center, said the increase in the freshman class at Texas A&M is due to the public’s increasing demand for
more Aggies.

“In 2010, U.S. News and World Report surveyed 1,400 companies across the country and asked them ‘Where do you like to go to get your new fresh recruit?’ We were ranked number two.” Buchanan said. “We were ranked ahead of Harvard, Princeton, MIT — all the schools you would typically think of.”

Melanie Griffin, admissions counselor, said Texas A&M’s growing national visibility has led to recent increases in applicants.

“I think Texas A&M is gaining more of a national reputation,” Griffin said. “I believe [joining the SEC] brought a lot of national attention as well.”

In light of the increase in applicants, Buchanan said the admissions department was asked to increase the freshman class.

“For Fall of 2012 we received around 31,000 applications and last year for the Fall of 2013 we received over 35,000 applications,” Buchanan said. “We were then asked to increase our freshman class.”

Shaylie Boles, junior marketing major, said she doesn’t mind the increased number of students, but she doesn’t want her quality in education to be affected by it.

“I love all the new students on campus, but I’m worried about the size of each incoming freshman class,” Boles said. “I don’t want to lose the feel or elite quality of students at Texas A&M because we allow more and more students each year.”

Griffin said with an increase in admitted students, maintaining class size would continue to remain a priority.

“Keeping class size down is a priority for most faculty, but the logic would follow the more students the bigger the classes, yet I think they are making a financial effort to keep the class size small,” Griffin said.

Coming from an old Aggie heritage, Jes Fort, freshman international studies major, said she has seen the acceptance requirements become more difficult over time.

“Comparing my admission process to my older bothers,’ I would definitely say I had to go through greater efforts to get Texas A&M’s attention for a hopeful acceptance,” Fort said. “Looking back, I am glad I put in the extra effort but I can truly say it was not a walk in
the park.”

Griffin said students should not worry that Texas A&M is becoming any less competitive or prestigious.

“I think every college and university is going to be faced with a challenge in the years to come, because jobs that don’t require bachelor degrees are becoming fewer and fewer,” Griffin said.

 

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