Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Class of 2010 enrollment is just right

They call it “summer melt,” the slip in an incoming class size due to some students’ last-minute decisions not to enroll. Admission officers always expect some slip; this year they counted on it. 

As of Aug. 25, enrollment for the incoming class—targeted at 1,100 first year students—was 66 over goal based on received deposits. DU was shooting for 200 transfers this fall and was expecting 217 at the end of August. 

Not to worry, said Tom Willoughby, vice chancellor for enrollment. He predicted in the middle of August that by the first day of classes, first-year-student enrollment would have dropped to about 1,145 plus about 215 transfers. His prediction couldn’t have been much closer. Willoughby says that on the first day of classes (Sept. 11) there were exactly 1,145 first-year students and 217 transfer students.

He said the numbers might fall further by the time the final head count is tallied after the third week of classes. Third-week and end-of-term numbers are the enrollment numbers used by the University for purposes of publication. Melt happens for various reasons — anything from a change in circumstances to a change of mind. 

Melt occurs at every university, Willoughby said. 

“We’re at capacity, but accommodating,” he said. 

Mike Furno, assistant director of Housing and Residential Education, said sufficient housing is available and 72 spaces could be added, “if we had to.” 

Registrar Dennis Becker said room for extra students is built into the academic system and that the deans are “geared up for this.” 

“We’re pretty much under control,” he said, noting that a first-year-student overage has occurred in each of the last six or seven years. 

This year’s incoming class, officials boast, will include 14 of the 40 recipients of Boettcher scholarships, which give achieving Colorado students money to attend in-state universities. The group includes 13 first-year students and one senior; and all will enroll, said Honors program Director Todd Breyfogle. 

“In my seven years here, we’ve had no [Boettcher Scholar] melt,” he said. 

The new arrivals mean DU will have 47 Boettcher scholars in residence, also a school record.

A version of this article originally appeared in The Source, September 2006.

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