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Enrollment rakes in numbers

November 30, 2010

By Stephanie Sexton, Staff Writer

Everyone is aware of the growth and expansion Young Harris College is experiencing since becoming a four-year college. An important part of the expansion is the growth in enrollment numbers. In fall of 2009, enrollment was at 695 students. This past fall of 2010, YHC had a record enrollment of 820 students.

Increased numbers like these do not happen without the enrollment office persistently working to promote incoming student interest in YHC. With last year’s bigger-than-expected numbers, the office is now looking to a record 2011.

The enrollment goal for next fall is 900 students. As of right now, YHC is on pace to reach this goal, but it is still too early to tell exactly what is going to happen in terms of enrollment.

“We are on pace as of Nov. 1 on the number of applications we need to have, and the number of students that we have admitted to the college to achieve our enrollment goals for next fall, which would be about 375 freshmen,” said Clint Hobbs, vice president for enrollment management.

Not only are the enrollment rates looking good so far, but also the retention rates are favorable. So far, YHC has exceeded its retention goals from the 2009-2010 school years, and there is no reason that the school should not continue to retain students at a high rate.

YHC maintains its retention rates because of the four-year programs associated with YHC. The four-year programs includes not only majors, but also other things such as new sports to campus.

The school, since becoming four-year has granted nine new majors, with several more on the way, built new buildings and residence halls and added on basketball to the sports agenda.

“It gives us more exposure. We had become the best black and white television in a color TV market,” Hobbs said.

This helps recruit students to YHC, and recruitment is a very important word to someone like Hobbs.

One form of recruitment that has received recent renovation is the school’s website.

“If you don’t have a website that is at least commensurate with the other college’s that you are in competition with for the same students, than you’re going to be behind,” Hobbs said.

Today’s generation is internet savvy, allowing more high school students to see YHC and become interested in visiting campus. Campus visits are a vital piece to YHC’s recruitment efforts.

“It is only via the college visit that a student can equip themselves with enough information about a college to make an informed decision or choice about that college,” Hobbs said.

So, with all pieces combined, the four-year program, degrees, sports, the new website and campus visits, YHC has every hope that they will reach their goals for enrollment and retention for next fall.

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