Private colleges around the country have been struggling with low admission rates because of the continuous need to increase tuition. Morningside College continues to evolve and overcome these challenges.
These are challenging times for private colleges. Many private colleges such as: Mount Ida College in Massachusetts, St. Catharine College in Kentucky, Saint Joseph’s College in Indiana, and Southern Vermont College have announced plans to close or have closed. These colleges failed due to lack of student admissions and the ability to supply students and their family’s reasonably prices tuition. Morningside college admissions recognizes the issue and are constantly innovating how they address the problem in order to meet their enrollment numbers.
John Reynders arrived on campus in 1999 when the college was faced with declining enrollment and budget cuts. The college since then has made a huge turn around.
The average American household is shrinking because of financial pressures which means less student are enrolling in college. Reynders said, “Life is expensive. Men and women are deciding to not have children or the average house hold is decreasing to 2 rather than 4.” This is effecting all colleges. Reynders continues, “The college isn’t concerned by this ratio because we continue to market ourselves effectively.”
Morningside, along with many other colleges, are always in competition with state school as well as private colleges. The need to match those colleges financially is a continuous battle. Reynders said, “There is not much of a difference between the cost of a state school and this school (Morningside) because of the financial aid opportunities that are offered.” The cost of college continues to increase each year so price is a continues concern for students. Reynders said, “When talking about inflation rates, we raise our tuition to compete with surrounding colleges, our financial aid matches those prices, if not exceeding them.”
Morningside college was mentioned in Forbes magazine for having the happiest, most successful alumni. Reynders comments, “99% of our graduates within 6 months are placed in jobs or accepted into graduate programs. That percentage at the end of the day is appealing to students who are thinking of coming to Morningside.” He continues, “When potential Morningsider’s here that, their faces light up.” Students are looking for colleges where they can see themselves being the most successful after college.
Morningside admissions focuses on traveling to local high schools and college fairs to get students thinking about the college. Amy Williams-Malenosky is a Senior Associate Director of Admissions at Morningside College. With private colleges having troubles with low admission rates, Malenosky emphasizes that Morningside College is at an all-time high with hopeful recruits. “We actually had the third largest freshman class in the last decade this year. We are unique to a lot of the other private colleges who are struggling.”
Morningside College is always growing and evolving to meet the needs of students. The college offers their students a variety of programs that help them succeed after college such as X-Path and Project Siouxland. Malenosky says, “This is what Morningside has to offer that other colleges don’t, so we use that as a unique selling point for admissions.” Marketing is a huge part of the recruitment process. Malenosky said, “Our VP of Marketing, Erin Edlund does a fantastic job of marketing Morningside and created a stir on all media outlets.”
Alongside marketing the college to students, something that is also very important to students are scholarship opportunities. Student-athlete Anthony Ventura is from San Jose, California who transferred here to play football. Being an out of state student, usually you would have to pay more tuition but Morningside worked with him like many other students.
Ventura said, “Morningside offers a lot of scholarship opportunities that have helped lower the tuition price for me.” Admissions works closely with students and families to make Morningside an affordable option. College is more than just football practice for Ventura. He says, “Private colleges have tight-knit relationships, smaller teacher-to-student ratio’s, and you are less likely to get lost in a crowd.”