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Enrollment up at Mount St. Mary's University

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By Emma Kerr | August 21, 2018

rugby at freshman move in

As members of the Class of 2022 unpack cars full of boxes and duffel bags at both Hood College and Mount St. Mary’s University, the Frederick County higher education institutions expect higher first-year student enrollments than they did last year.

Students at the Mount began moving in on Aug. 17, and those at Hood College are to begin moving in on Aug. 23.

The Mount is welcoming its second-largest class in the university’s history this year. Up from 524 freshman students and 53 transfer students last year, Mount St. Mary’s has enrolled 565 freshmen and 55 transfer students this year.

Students of color make up more than 40 percent of the freshman class, representing an increase from last year’s class, 36 percent of which were students of color.

University spokeswoman Donna Klinger said the Mount’s enrollment continues to grow while other colleges and universities are shrinking because of new academic programs, such as those in cybersecurity, forensic accounting, and entrepreneurship, as well as the creation of interdisciplinary programs and the Mount’s expansion of intercollegiate athletics to 22 Division I teams.

Enrollment was at its highest in the university’s history in 2011, with a class of 572 freshmen. However, the Mount’s enrollment took a significant dip in 2016 after the controversy that resulted in President Simon Newman’s resignation. Newman resigned in March 2016 after making a remark that compared struggling students to “bunnies” that needed to be drowned.

To replace Newman, Mount St. Mary’s named Timothy E. Trainor interim president, and later president.

“More and more students are coming to the Mount, I believe, because they recognize our goodness,” Trainor said. “Prospective students and their families are seeing that we’re not only educating young adults for success in finding a career path as evidenced by our No. 1 ranking by Zippia for employment in the state of Maryland, but also how our entire campus community works each day preparing ethical leaders who make a difference in service to others.”

Zippia is a website that provides prospective employees with career and job information.

Hood College experienced a similar uptick in enrollment, increasing slightly from 336 freshman and transfer students last year to 343 freshman and transfer students this year. This increase is slightly less than the gains seen from 2016 to 2017, when enrollment rose from 300 freshman and transfer students in 2016 to 336 freshman and transfer students in 2017.

This fall’s freshman class is composed of students from 16 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, Nepal, Ethiopia, Germany and France. Seventy-eight students were invited to join the college’s honors program and 23 students have a parent, sibling, or grandparent who received a degree from Hood.

The college’s graduate student class is composed of 203 new graduate students this year, up from last year’s 190 new graduate students.

The college has seen a steady increase in the number of transfer students, according to Bill Brown, Hood’s vice president for enrollment management. The class represents a three-year enrollment high, and Brown said he anticipates more students will enroll ahead of the first day of classes.

To increase enrollment, Brown said the college is working to build relationships with community colleges, not just nearby ones, but across the state.

While continuing to strengthen and value local relationships, Brown said, “We are looking to increase our market share in the state of Maryland, as well as in Frederick County. We want to continue our expansion in areas a little further out — like Pennsylvania, Virginia and New York. We’ve seen a slight increase in students from those areas in recent years and we fully expect that is going to continue.”

Photo by Dan Gross, Frederick News-Post

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