ACU is lighting up its “no vacancy” sign as the number of prospective students increases and the university becomes more selective in the admissions process.
Prospective students now face fixed application deadlines and higher expectations for admission as a result.
This year, students must complete applications by Nov. 1 or Feb. 15 – a change from the previous rolling deadline system, which allowed students to submit applications throughout the year.
This step is the beginning of a trend for ACU, said Buck James, associate vice president for Enrollment Management.
“The reality is that we have more demand than we do opportunity for spaces [for undergraduate students] at ACU, and that will continue to be the pace moving forward into the future,” James said. “We are fast approaching where we don’t have any more room for growth, and the only option we have is to become more selective, which is a good thing.”
The Enrollment Management department had received a little more than 2,400 applications as of last week for the Nov. 1 early application deadline; this number is about 800 more than in 2008. James said the university anticipates accepting about 1,100 of those students by Dec. 1. Another 1,100 students who apply by the regular action deadline in February will be notified of their acceptance by March 15.
These numbers fulfill the university’s goals as stated in the 21st Century Vision, which sets the limit of each entering freshmen class.
Increased interest in the university is a result of national and international recognition for the mobile learning initiative, as well as an interest in conservative Christian groups outside of the Church of Christ, James said.
ACU was ranked in the top seven percent of colleges and universities in the U.S. for 2009 by Forbes Magazine, placing higher than Baylor and TCU. The university also maintained its strong presence in the rankings of U.S. News and World Report.
Mark Lavender, director of admissions, said these reflections on the quality of the university are a factor in drawing students to ACU.
“ACU is becoming more and more of a national leader in Christian education,” Lavender said. “People hear about ACU more and more today than they did maybe five years ago.”