The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


Chatham University welcomes largest first-year class ever, despite current college enrollment statistics

Chatham University accepted 417 first-year students this academic year, making it the largest class it’s ever welcomed.

The Chatham University class of 2023 poses in the shape of a “C” during during orientation. Photo credit: University Communications and Marketing.

Meanwhile, many other universities and colleges are experiencing declining undergraduate enrollment due to fewer college-aged students and high education costs.

Why then is Chatham seeing so much growth?

The Office of Admissions didn’t do much differently to promote Chatham this past year. Brandy Gershon, Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions, said the Chatham Admissions Team always “put[s] a really big focus on individual outreach.”

It does this by making personalized phone calls to prospective students, as well as by connecting applicants with current students in their respective fields of interest.

“We do not have a cap on the number of students we accept,” Gershon said.

Even with all the new students, Chatham has not lowered its academic standard.

“Our academic profile is actually getting higher,” Gershon explained.

The school’s current averages are a 3.75 GPA and 1150 SAT and a 25 Composite ACT scores, according to Brian Dwyer, Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions.

Consequently, housing is at full capacity this year.

Shawn McQuillan, Director of Residence Life, said spaces for upperclass students in the Kennilworth Apartments on Centre Avenue and graduate spaces in Hicks Estate off of Fifth Avenue were converted to accommodate the new students.

“We did not add any beds to any rooms — that was important,” McQuillan said.

Some visiting faculty and family spaces on campus were converted to house new students. Incoming students were also encouraged to live at Eden Hall.

“I meet with stakeholders at the University to determine projections for the coming year,” McQuillan said, including President Dr. David Finegold and representatives from Finance & Administration, Student Affairs, Enrollment Management, Facilities and the board of trustees.

Currently, no money has been allocated to build a new residence hall, but this could change. There are plans to renovate the current residence halls. McQuillan added that if the housing demand is high enough Beatty House may be converted into a residence hall.

Madeline Redhead-Kriston ’23 said she chose Chatham for its physician assistant program, as well as to pursue track and field.

“Everyone seems happy [living at Chatham],” she said.

Redhead-Kriston said she hasn’t heard comments from fellow first-year classmates about housing issues, other than ones concerning courtesy hours or the laundry machines malfunctioning.

The Admissions department has found that more students decide to attend Chatham if they have toured the campus.

“We have 600 Admissions events planned for 2020,” Gershon said, some of which include college fairs and high school visitations.

There’s no official projection for the size of next year’s first-year class, but growth will continue to be encouraged as long as it’s done “in as sustainable of a manner as we possibly can,” Dwyer said.

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