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Instant college admissions: An enrollment and engagement boost

At Unity College, the yield rate from Instant Admissions Day is over 60 percent
University Business, December 2016
INSPIRING ACTIVITIES—Students get to begin bonding with future classmates on Instant Admissions Day at Unity College in Maine. They also get some certainty about their higher ed futures.
INSPIRING ACTIVITIES—Students get to begin bonding with future classmates on Instant Admissions Day at Unity College in Maine. They also get some certainty about their higher ed futures.

Instant Admissions Day at Unity College in Maine provides benefits beyond the immediate acceptance of students’ applications, President Melik Peter Khoury says.

This accelerated enrollment approach provides a clearer picture of the 700-student private college’s incoming class. “The more we understand who’s coming and the needs they have, we are better able to invest and plan properly so their experience here matches their expectations,” Khoury says.

The environmentally-focused school’s third Instant Admissions Day in September 2016 drew nearly double the number of students, 85, that attended the first event in 2014. Preselected, preregistered students—generally those with at least a 3.0 GPA—must still fill out a traditional application.

On Instant Admissions Day, they can secure financial aid, get accepted, pay a deposit and fill out enrollment paperwork, says Joe Saltalamachia, the director of admissions. But it’s not just filling out forms. Students also get to meet future classmates, and faculty, who offer previews of projects and programs.

The college’s yield for general applications is 26 to percent 29 percent; the yield rate from Instant Admissions Day is over 60 percent, representing about a fifth of its incoming class. Instant Admissions Day also cuts recruitment costs significantly, Saltalamachia adds.

Concordia University Texas, which serves about 2,500 students north of Austin, holds monthly instant admission days as well as one larger campus event in the spring, says Kristin Coulter, associate vice president of admissions.

Frst-time students, transfers and adult learners are eligible for a $1,000 tuition discount for participating. “It’s an opportunity to walk off campus to knowing you’re admitted, what scholarships you’re getting and the classes you’re taking,” Coulter says.

The university enrolled its largest ever incoming class in fall 2016.

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