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New Approach to Recruitment Sees Continued Increase

As a result of its long-term, campus-wide effort to increase interest in Duquesne among prospective students, the size and caliber of the university’s incoming class continues to improve for the fourth consecutive year.

Although fall 2005 final enrollment numbers will not be available until late September, the projected increase in new students is expected to be more than 10 percent (not including transfer students or second-degree students). The Class of 2009 enrollment will most likely be around 1,340.

In 2005, Duquesne received 43 percent more applications than in 2004. The increased number, according to the Office of Admissions, is evidence that a new structured approach is the right recruitment strategy. Utilizing research-based, creative recruitment methods, the Office of Admissions has focused on a pool of prospects that truly fit the campus profile and result in better academic credentials for the incoming freshmen. For example, over the last four years, the average SAT score for new freshmen has increased by 50 points.

“Looking at standardized test scores, grade point averages and high school curriculum, I believe this is Duquesne University’s best freshman class ever,” says Director of Admissions Paul-James Cukanna.

Along with considering a school’s location and programs, points out Cukanna, prospective students make emotional, intuitive decisions, influenced by the people they interact with and meet on campus.
“We involve academic colleagues, admission liaisons and student life colleagues; it really does take a whole university community to recruit a class of students,” adds Cukanna.

In addition to offering a high-quality education, Cukanna says a key component in Duquesne’s recruitment is the its comprehensive mission, which includes the service it gives to students and in helping them determine whether Duquesne is truly a good fit for them.

“I define a school’s fit as the gap between what the student expects that first year, and the reality of it,” says Cukanna.

At Duquesne, that gap is relatively small, as evidenced by the university’s excellent student retention rate.

“Nationally, about 35 percent of freshmen do not return for their second year,” says Cukanna. “Duquesne only loses a little over 10 percent.”

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.