Kent anticipates record-breaking admissions

Adriana Gasiewski, Reporter

Kent has received over 23,000 applications for admission this year, causing the admissions rate to increase.

Collin Palmer, associate vice president of enrollment management and admissions, said his office has been working towards this increase in admissions for the last several years.

“I think we’ve seen an increase in applications and admits to the university because we’ve worked really intentionally over the last several years to build a solid communication and recruitment plan for students,” Palmer said. 

He then explained how Kent’s admission was able to reach more prospective students this year through their influences.

“We’re engaging with students and connecting to students and their influencers. It’s not just about the student’s choice about where they attend college, but it can be parents, grandparents, siblings and other influencers in their lives like school counselors,” said Palmer.

After engaging their influencers, admissions then ensures that they are providing relevant information to them.

“We’re doing that through email, social media’s very active, we use a tool called ZeeMee in the admissions’ office,” Palmer stated. “It allows future students to connect with other future students.”

Besides utilizing social media platforms such as ZeeMee, admissions had made more efforts to gain high school students’ attention.

“We’ve visited more high schools than in the past, we’ve attended more college fairs, we’re recruiting students outside of the Midwest,” he said.

To further do such, admissions sends information to those prospective students about their programs of interest.

“We’re in really high demand for our professional pilot program this year and developing content to provide to students so they know what does being a flight student at Kent State look like,” Palmer explained.

Palmer is aware that the college search can be a challenge for prospective students and explained how he makes Kent feel like the perfect fit for any prospective student.

“When you’re navigating through the college search, there’s four or five thousand colleges in the United States, you want to have an idea about what is the best fit for you,” he continued. “So we talk a lot about the city of Kent, the Kent community, we talked a lot about our campus and informing students about opportunities at the regional campuses.”

In recent years, Kent’s admission has helped larger freshmen classes be admitted to Kent.

“Last year we enrolled 4,251 freshmen in the fall,” Palmer said.

With these growing numbers, many wonder whether or not the pandemic had an effect on admissions.

“I know the pandemic caused many students to take a year off, to think if college is the right fit for them,” he continued. “So I think what we might be experiencing this year is that more students are comfortable and choosing to go to college next year and that could be leading to some increases in Kent State and a lot of other institutions.”

In addition to many feeling comfortable to attend college after the pandemic, there is a number of increased admission for those who live in Ohio.

“We’re seeing increases in applications and admits in Kent State from students in Ohio and outside of Ohio, so I think it could be a little bit of both as we’ve expanded our reach to other states like Pennsylvania,” Palmer said.

Since college decision day is May 1, the incoming class has not officially broken records yet, but Palmer wants prospective students to keep a few things in mind.

“We encourage people to submit their enrollment fee by May 1 so that’s kind of what you’re doing to lock-in your space in the class, that allows you to register for Destination Kent State or university orientation, that’s what allows you to submit a housing application,” he continued. “So that’s kind of the next step to becoming a student at Kent.”

Completing all of these objectives by the May 1 deadline is extremely important according to Palmer.

“This year, we’re really trying to encourage folks to do that by May 1 so that way we can ensure there’s still a place for them in the class in the fall,” Palmer said.

Adriana Gasiewski is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]