Emory Report
March 20, 2006
Volume 58, Number 23


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March 20 , 2006
PCORE talks admissions at February meeting

BY Katherine Baust Lukens

The President’s Commission on Race and Ethnicity (PCORE) welcomed Dan Walls, dean of admissions, Tolton Pace, assistant dean of admissions, and Jean Jordan, director of enrollment services, to its Feb. 27 meeting, held in 400 Administration.

They were invited to discuss policies and practices of the Office of Admissions and to explore ways to collaborate with the commission.

“This is my 23rd year at the University and the first time I have been invited to a PCORE meeting,” Walls said.
Walls opened by reporting that applications to Emory College this year are up 18 percent. “There are 1,255 first-year spots, and we have received more than 14,000 applications,” he said. “I wish I could say that was totally our doing, but most of the top 20 national universities are experiencing more applications this year. [One] reason is that students are applying to more colleges to shop around for the best financial aid package or merit scholarship offer.”

But much of the increase, he said, can be attributed simply to a larger number of high school seniors. The pool of 18-year-old students nationwide is projected to continue to increase through 2010 before beginning a gradual decline, he said. “Many admission deans are timing their retirement to this anticipated decline in high school seniors,” Walls joked.

The college and Emory’s Board of Trustees have designed a three-part strategy for admissions, Walls said. First, next fall the college will enroll 1,255 freshmen, a 15-student increase from last year. “If the business school begins to admit freshmen, those students would need to be factored in to the projected first-year class size of 1,255 students,” Walls said.

“Second, we’re pursuing the strongest academic students that we can enroll based on high school academic performance, strength of curriculum and standardized test scores,” Walls said. “Lastly, our goal is to have a racially, ethnically and economically diverse class—we want middle income students, students on financial aid, international students, as well as a diversity of interests and majors.”

Following his remarks, Walls answered questions from the commission, and he talked about the importance of bolstering Emory’s financial aid to students.

“Any discussion of strategic enrollment planning must include financial aid and scholarship assistance,” he said. “It would be a rare prospective student information session that did not include a variety of questions about cost, financial aid and the ability to afford an Emory education. Several of our peer institutions have taken the lead in adjusting financial aid packages to lower-income students so that they do not include any student loans. We need to continue to be very creative in our pursuit of building an economically diverse first-year class.”

Staff concerns chair Blanche Burch reported that her group is working with Senior Director of Human Resources Del King to enhance the synergy between the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs and HR, specifically in the area of processing complaints and grievances and the different terminologies being used. The commission discussed ways to better inform staff and incoming employees about current procedures and resources.

The next PCORE meeting will be held March 27 at 3 p.m. in 400 Administration. The guest speaker will be President Jim Wagner.

If you have a question or concern for PCORE, e-mail chair Donna Wong at dmwong@emory.edu.