May 7, 2001
College may hit international enrollment goal
By Jan Gleason
If all goes well, Emory College has a good chance to meet its goal of enrolling 60 international students (or 5 percent) in this falls freshman class, thanks in no small part to University funding focused on the internationalizing of Emory.
That funding has allowed Scott Allen, senior assistant dean of admission
and director of international admission, to travel overseasto the
Middle East, South America and Europeto recruit students.
Were seeing major jumps in inquiries, applications and enrolling students, said Dan Walls, dean of admission. This year, for the first time, College Dean Steve Sanderson opened the Emory Scholar Program to international candidates, and we had 75 nominees from 50 high schools abroad.
It was important for us to let students from abroad know that, if theyre
bright and gifted, we value them just as much as if theyre American
students, Allen said.
Emory received 490 applications from abroad and accepted 189 students
or 38 percent (about par for the 41 percent admit rate of all students).
We typically have a higher yield rate students (those accepting
Emorys offer of admission) on international students so were
optimistic about getting 60 students from abroad to enroll this year,
said Allen, who wont know the final number of enrollees until all
the international mail postmarked by May 1 is processed.
Those numbers are up dramatically from five years ago, when 226 students
applied, 35 were accepted and 10 students enrolled. Last year, 50 international
students from 28 countries enrolled as freshmen in the college.
For the past four or five years, Ive focused on the Middle
East and Latin America as regions where we could recruit students,
Allen said. All my recruitment travel has been through the ECIS
tours, which provides the structure for our efforts and validates our
interest in international recruitment. Prior to the ECIS tours,
Allen spent three years trying to recruit students from his desk in the
B. Jones Building.
ECIS sponsors and organizes tours to various parts of the world; Emory
has to compete to be one of the 20 or 25 schools selected for a tour.
There are committees of U.S. admissions officers who help ECIS design
the tours so a variety of universities in the U.S. are represented,
Allen said. We were lucky that in our second year of trying, we
were accepted for the Latin America trip; some schools are never selected.
Since then, Allen has been asked to serve on the Latin America selection
committee. As time and budgets allow, Emory may seek to join a recruitment
trip to Africa. Europe and Aus-tralia probably wont appear on the
agenda anytime soon, since many students stay in those countries to attend
collegethat is tuition-free in many cases.
In some countries, such as Turkey, the university system has the capacity
to educate only about 1 in 10 students seeking admission, so students
there are likely to go abroad if they dont get accepted to the state-sponsored
Allen said much of his time abroad is spent educating families about
In many cases were dealing with families who have a tradition
of sending their children to the United States to study, and they want
the very best for their children, who will come back and run the familys
concerns, he said. The status factor is very high overseas,
and frequently family honor is tied to the choices children make about
what college they will attend.
Allen noted that the majority of international students at Emory study
business, computer science or science, as they do wherever they go in
America because those areas are relevant to what theyll be doing
once they return home.
If we didnt have the Goizueta Business School, we wouldnt
be nearly as successful in our recruitment efforts, Allen said.
Theres also a growing interest in engineering, and our 3/2
program with Georgia Tech is appealing. Our liberal arts program offers
them wonderful preparation for their professional studies. Once enrolled,
families and students really come to cherish the liberal arts programsomething
they were not very familiar with prior to arriving in the states.
Allen noted that Emorys location in Atlanta has also been as asset.
We frequently ride the coattails of Delta and Coke abroad,
said Allen. Just being able to get to Atlanta easily has helped
us recruit some students.
The Internet has also contributed to international recruitment. Its
revolutionalized the process, Walls said. No longer are students
hampered by regular mail. We receive hundreds of email queries each week
from international students.
Allen has his share of travel travails, such as the time the tour bus
broke down on the way from Damascus to Beirut, and the Lebanese army ended
up escorting the group to their hotel.
Its been enriching, challenging and a joy to represent Emory to students abroad, Allen said. Were building the foundation for an international presence at Emory one class at a time.