The AdCil Spill

By James Fischbeck

In this week’s meeting of the Administrative Council, there were 3 items on the agenda, the first item was the approval of minutes from the October 10th meeting, the second being an overview of the admissions and financial aid plans for the future, and the third item was a discussion of the role and function of AdCil, including faculty personnel issues. The minutes from the October 10th meeting are being re-written to include more of the long discussion that made the last AdCil most memorable. After the discussion over minutes, Admissions and Financial aid gave an overview of their plan to attract future Antiochians. The admissions process works in 2-year cycles, meaning that they are making decisions that will directly affect the next 2 generations of students. The first question raised was is “How are we going to bring in the classes of 2007 and 2008?? Cathy Paige laid out the answer in 3 parts.

First, Antioch is participating in the purchasing of names of high school seniors from a company called Human Capital as they have done in the past. Last year, they bought about 120,000 names, and this year, they plan on buying around 80,000 – 90,000 names. Their reason for buying fewer names this year is conservation of resources and revision to the criteria to be used for the search focusing on Antioch’s strengths (co-op, community involvement, organizing for social justice). For example, they will be cutting people from the search who are looking for a religious education or intercollegiate sports since neither programs are represented fully here at Antioch.

The second portion of the plan is for the “self-initiated? students who talk directly to Antioch because of their preexisting interest and curiosities towards this institution. For them, the online system is being streamlined. When someone asks for information or applies online, the turn-around time is now about 24 hours. Speed is a major focus of the revisions, as they are implementing more changes to hasten the communication process.

The third part is a re-organization of admission councilors time away from campus. They have cut the amount of time they spend off campus by approximately 45%, encouraging more prospective students to come visit Antioch. This year, seniors will receive a sequence of 12 postcards that articulate 12 key points designed to spark student interest in visiting or applying to Antioch. For the students that decide to visit Antioch, the campus visit program is improving, with more communication prior to their visit, better scheduling of time spent on campus, and more follow-up after they depart for home. More emphasis is being placed on visiting because students are more likely to matriculate if they come visit Antioch in person.

They will also work with current high school juniors and sophomores to incite interest in Antioch. The major targets of admissions recruiters include people with diverse backgrounds, and Midwesterners, with a focus on Ohio in particular as 1/3 of the new students are from Ohio originally. Rick Jurassek explained that students nationwide are reluctant to travel far away from their homes and families, thus making the search for Ohioans imperative. Another factor is the money that the Ohio state government gives for financial aid grants and how that can be used to put the college’s finances back on track.

In the coming year, they are seeking a target number of 12,000 student inquires for information. The number for this year was around 10,000, with only 11%-12% applying at Antioch. They are seeking a larger pool of applicants with fewer expenses. New scholarships and scholarship programs have increased the number of students who have deposited money to enroll at Antioch, and the scholarship weekend programs will be continued this year with tentative dates for March 4-5 and April 1-2.

Robin Heise spoke briefly about the federal government raising loan limits, making a greater burden on the college financially. The college’s main focus with scholarship money will be towards students who are the first in their families to attend college, and multicultural students. Also, the school is awarding challenge grants to students that will increase in amount over their stay at Antioch. These grants are awarded to students that show considerable improvement in their academics while they are in college.

There may be an unwritten rule against marketing your college to students already enrolled in other colleges, but Antioch has so much vitality and potential that we are attracting a good number of students from other colleges. With the number of prospective transfer students increasing, one concern that was expressed is the difficulty in recruiting transfer students for a curriculum that currently doesn’t exist for 3rd and 4th year students. Antioch already has agreements with a few community colleges in the area and will encourage more involvement with them in the future.

The Next week, AdCil will be discussing its role as an advisory committee and how it can continue to function effectively. This meeting is arguably the most important meeting of the year and if you’re concerned about AdCil’s role in campus politics, come to the next meeting, Tuesday at 8 AM in the Main Building conference room. Or if you just want some coffee and juice in the early morning, you’re welcome as well. These meetings are open to all members of the community who want to attend.