I’m prompted to write this posting today for two reasons:
- 1) To acknowledge that there is an important decision that many students and parents face in the coming weeks - selecting a college or university to attend next fall from among offers received.
- 2) The second is to discuss the extraordinary circumstances that many students and parents face this year under the current economic recession in making that selection.
Paying for college during good economic times can be a challenging proposition, let alone during an economic recession. Given this harsh reality, it is more important than ever that families carefully weigh the long-term implications and benefits of their decision. To the greatest extent possible, students and parents need to stay focused on the value of the undergraduate experience and the long-term benefits that this investment will yield in the future.
I recently read an article in The Wall Street Journal entitled, “New Students Face Harsh College Cutbacks.” The article cautioned families that many colleges and universities are aggressively trimming costs right now, and, as a result, may be very different institutions when classes begin this fall. The article also pointed out that as schools increase enrollment to raise money, classrooms become more crowded and student to faculty ratios suffer. For students, this could mean being locked out of classes needed to fulfill graduation requirements; a fifth or sixth year may be needed to complete (what would then become) a much more costly degree.
In spite of the current economic recession, however, please know that the University of Denver’s financial position is very strong, and we have no plans to increase undergraduate enrollment. As in past years, we are planning on a first year class of 1145 students when classes begin this fall. The University will continue to offer a high quality, transformative undergraduate experience that not only provides students with opportunities for broad and deep learning, but will also prepare them to live lives of purpose and significance.
The University of Denver is very intentional about the learning environment we have created, offering small classes and unfettered access to some of the best faculty in the country. Students have access to the classes they need in order to graduate in four years or less.
The real value of the DU experience, however, is the kind of people we graduate and what they do with their lives. The transformative educational experience we provide allows students to:
· Become intellectually engaged with faculty and with other students
· Develop intellectual focus, maturity and depth
· Develop critical knowledge and abilities that lead to success in any field; abilities in critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, challenging assumptions, gathering research and making judgments about that research
· Become extraordinary writers
· Develop deeper values and make meaningful commitments
· Have a collection of experiences outside the boundaries of our campus that will shape their mind and heart; internship experiences, service learning projects and study abroad opportunities
· And an added bonus is our spectacular setting and beautiful campus!
Your decision is not an easy one, but we certainly wish you the best in making it. Let us know if we can provide any additional information to demonstrate why our enrolled students are so enthusiastic about their experience at DU. We hope to see you at DU in the fall!
Vice Chancellor for Enrollment