Rise in applications to Laurier

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For the third year in a row, Wilfrid Laurier University has seen an increase in applications from Ontario secondary school students. The university has experienced the largest three-year increase in applications amongst all Ontario universities.

On Jan. 11, the university saw an 8.8 per cent increase in applications from secondary school applicants, translating into roughly 1990 more applicants than last year. This number is above the overall 2.4 per cent provincial system-wide increase.

There has also been an increase in applications from students who are no longer in secondary school, as well as those individuals who classify as international or domestic applicants.

As of Jan.11 these first-year applications increased 30.2 per cent, compared to a provincial system-wide increase of 26.5 per cent.

A variety of factors could be behind the higher application numbers.

“I think that it was pretty evident last year that the increase has been a result of new programming. If you look at some of the innovative new programs the university launched such as the management option and also the law program with the University of Sussex … a lot of the growth was in those programs and other new programs,” said Julie Hummel, associate registrar, Recruitment and Admissions.

Wilfrid Laurier University was also ranked No. 1 for student satisfaction by Maclean’s magazine as part of its annual Maclean’s University Rankings, published Oct. 26.

The general opinion of friends, family and neighbours may also contribute to the rising trend.

“We know empirically from not only our own research but system wide research at how influential peers are in decision making. Having a great reputation for both academics and student life is really the best marketing tool you can have,” Hummel said.

There is also a recorded increase in graduate student applications.

As of Jan. 16 there has been a 9.3 per cent increase in applications recieved, compared to the same period for graduate students last year.

Applications for graduate student studies follow a different set of timelines than those for undergraduate programs, therefore, application numbers will continue to change throughout the spring and summer months.

“The number one message that I always tell students is that if they haven’t visited the campus yet then they should come for a visit … There’s just something about physically being on a campus where students seem to have a distinct feeling that ‘I can see myself here,’” Hummel said.

“Because that’s the most important thing and it helps you ultimately to be successful, if you can be comfortable where you are,” Hummel said.


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