Admissions see rise in applicants
With a rise in scholarships, applicants climbed 15 percent compared to last year. | Infographic by Sean Leone/THE CHIMES
After low enrollment for the 2015-2016 academic school year, undergraduate admissions increased applications by a little over 15 percent.
Though applications for the 2016-2017 school year are still being accepted, 5,132 prospective students have applied and 3,218 were accepted by the third week of April 2016. At the same time last year, only 4,447 applications were received while 3,066 were accepted. Applications totaled at 4,783 and 3,461 students were accepted.
“Students are accepted typically a month after we receive their completed application. So for a student that applies on March 1, they applied and they have completed their application by March 1st, they hear back from us by April 1,” said Michelle Reider, associate director of undergraduate freshmen admissions.
Reider believes several factors played into helping the amount of applicants rise as compared to last year. Students received several incentives to help them apply, such as increasing academic scholarship amounts.
“We created multiple initiatives in order to increase applications this year. We did increase our academic scholarships considerably for both freshmen and transfer students,” Reider said. “Those [academic scholarships] make a difference in a student’s ability to pay for Biola and so we were thrilled that we were able to increase scholarships this year.”
With a $2,200 increase in tuition taking effect in 2016-2017 for all students, financial aid has also been altered for new incoming and transfer students by giving them a higher amount of scholarship money. Continuing students will receive a grant of $850 to offset the steep 6.37 percent increase but will not receive the new scholarship amount. SGA passed 10 scholarships at $1,000 on March 3 to help students who will be chosen based off community involvement, need and GPA.
A BUSY SEASON
In fall 2015, the $45 application fee was waived for an entire season for the first time. In prior years, students were selected to receive a waiver for the application fee. Some students have also been paid $100 for traveling costs to come to Biola or will receive a voucher for a gift at the Biola bookstore.
While the season has been busier for the admissions staff, especially during the month of April when students come and tour the campus, they care and desire for families to have the best experience possible at Biola.
“We have a great team in admissions including admissions counselors and admissions associates and representatives that meet with students and we’re able to offer great care and customer service to our families that we care about so much,” Reider said. “We really want them to have a personalized experience at Biola because we believe that’s the experience that they have when they’re a current student here so we’re thankful for the hard work of our counselor team.”