May 21, 2004
As faculty, staff and students end one academic year at the University of Maine at Fort Kent, campus officials are already looking ahead to next fall, and at early figures that project a healthy increase in enrollment on the northernmost campus in the University of Maine System.
A year-to-date comparison of the number of confirmed entering students during the first part of May in 2003 to the same period this year shows an impressive 30 percent jump.
Last year at this time 199 students had said they would be attending UMFK in the fall semester, compared to 260 students who have told admissions staff they will be on campus this September.
"The response from prospective student recruits about our campus is extremely positive. They feel the forward moving momentum of UMFK and the surrounding community and want to be a part of it," said Melik Peter Khoury, director of admissions.
The increase in students confirming their attendance for next fall comes after the admissions office has processed a record number of applications from students throughout Maine, other states, Canada, and other countries around the world.
To date, 744 students have applied for admissions for the fall semester at UMFK, compared to 610 at this time last year, representing a 22 percent increase.
"This truly has been a banner year for the UMFK campus community," said UMFK President Richard Cost. "We have come off a year that has seen the construction of a new 150-bed residence hall, Fort Kent's hosting of the 2004 Biathlon World Cup, a newly developed campus strategic plan, and many other positive developments. More students are now discovering what we have always known about UMFK and Fort Kent, that this is a great place to learn and live."
Impressive gains in the number of confirmed students to date have been realized in a number of UMFK's thirteen baccalaureate degree and six associate degree programs.
Leading the way is UMFK's bachelor of science in nursing program, which last year at this time had 24 new students confirmed for the fall semester. So far this year, 41 students have confirmed their attendance in the nursing program, a remarkable 71 percent increase.
According to Khoury, many factors, in addition to the positive developments on the campus and in the community, have contributed to the increase.
"We have restructured our admissions office to be more student focused, we have expanded our use of technology to recruit students more efficiently and effectively, and we have concentrated efforts on increasing campus visits by prospective students to the point where we have doubled the number of visits this year," said Khoury. "These factors coupled with an increase in the number of institutional academic scholarships and more frequent dialogue with area and state high school guidance counselors have all contributed to our success. Nonetheless, none of this would be possible without the outstanding efforts of the entire admissions staff that have helped develop a cutting edge approach to admissions."