Admissions Committee
Annual Report 2006-2007

Members: 
Marty Cook, Mary Fairbairn, Jane Love, Jay Oney, Shusuke Yagi, Owen McFadden, Woody O’Cain, Danielle Tait, Christina Henderson (students) and Judy Grisel (Chair).

The admissions committee continued to focus on ways fostering intellectual vitality at Furman by recruiting and retaining a diverse student body. We collaborated with admissions staff on admission by separately evaluating applicant essays and also studied ways that faculty input might positively impact admissions policy and practice.

The committee members and a few intrepid volunteers read over 1100 essays during both early and regular decision periods. Of those, about 200 were ranked highly and individually discussed as part of the admissions process. Many of these were admitted on the standard measures of their application, but 72 were admitted based on the additional perceived value of their essay. Of these, 27 have paid to date. These students, as well as those admitted by this process last year, will be tracked for scholastic performance, leadership, creativity and scholarship throughout their Furman careers (and perhaps beyond).

In addition, the committee met several times this year in order to consider several policies that might facilitate our overarching goals. We evaluated the standardized test component of the application, considered criteria for awarding Hollingsworth Scholarships, proposed the development of an endowed fund to support meritorious international students, and suggested that a task force be created to attend to issues of student attrition. These policies are outlined in the document Admissions Committee Report on Policy. Because of the potentially large impact of modifying the standardized test component of the application as well as the faculty interest in this particular topic evident at the annual retreat (September, 2006), our proposal on an SAT optional policy will brought before the faculty for consideration at the May meeting.

As always, faculty input to the admissions committee is welcome. We have a blog for faculty contributions here.

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