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March 22, 2018

Admissions Shares Recruiting Efforts, Enrollment Targets With Senate Committee

The University is experiencing what is at least its third-highest number of applicants, according to Marc Harding, vice provost for enrollment. He and Kellie Kane, executive director of admissions, spoke about Pitt’s incoming freshman class and the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid’s recruiting efforts at the March 8 meeting of the Senate student admissions, aid and affairs committee.

The latest tally showed 29,000 freshman applications. “We’ll pass 2016 in a week or two,” said Harding. That year saw 29,175 applications for the freshman class. Pitt received its highest number of applicants in 2015 with 30,658 freshman applications.

According to Harding, the target enrollment for the Class of 2022 is 4,035 students: 3,000 for the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences; 575 for the Swanson School of Engineering; 310 for the College of Business Administration and 150 for the School of Nursing. The nursing school’s target enrollment is higher than it was for the fall 2017 freshman class, said Kane. According to the latest tally, 1,095 students had submitted their deposits.

In addition, Pitt expects to enroll about 800 transfer students, she said.

OAFA’s current and future projects include:

  • A three-year project in which recruiting efforts are being intensified in California; Illinois; Maryland; New England; New Jersey; New York; Texas; Virginia; and Washington, D.C.
  • The Common Application, which allows students to submit one application to multiple colleges. Pitt will begin to accept this application, helping the University in its efforts to reach a diverse student population, according to Kane.

“If we really truly want to make it easier for students to find Pitt, we decided to be in a platform that they were comfortable with,” she said.

Marketing efforts targeted at potential students who are undecided about their major. “Undecided/No Response” was one of the most popular selections by high school students in program year 2017 when asked to choose a major, according to the College Board and ACT. Between fall 2013 and fall 2017, Pitt saw a decline in enrollment of undeclared students. “What I see is that there’s an opportunity for us to do a better job of recruiting undecided to a place like Pitt, which should be absolutely the greatest place to go if you’re undecided, in my opinion,” said Harding.

  • High school counselor focus groups. School counselors, said Harding, help to decide what information is channeled to students in evaluating colleges and universities.

Edwin Hernandez, director of Pitt’s Office of Veterans Services and a pro-tem member of the committee, asked about OAFA’s efforts as they relate to the Hispanic population. Harding said that his office has tailored marketing material for various segments of the recruiting audience, including Hispanics. He had shared in an earlier slide about high school demographics during his presentation that the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education expects a 13 percent increase among Hispanic high school seniors in the United States between 2016-17 and 2031-32.


Katie Fike,, 412-624-1085


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