Enrollment Indicators 'Encouraging'

Central Methodist University’s early indicators of fall enrollment are bucking national trends. While college enrollment has been in a steady decline across Missouri and much of the Midwest, one wouldn’t know that by talking to enrollment officials at CMU.

“The numbers are encouraging,” said Dr. Joe Parisi, vice president for enrollment management. “Key indicators such as inquiries, applications, and deposits, are up significantly over last year.”

Parisi said inquiries and applications have swelled by 58 percent this year. Why?

Parisi credits several changes at CMU, chief among them President Roger Drake’s commitment to reorganize and integrate admissions, financial assistance, and marketing.

“We have more outreach than ever before, appealing to a larger group of kids across the Midwest,” said Parisi. “Our marketing strategy and tactics have changed, and so have our admissions search and segmentation strategies, and we’ve been able to introduce newer and more attractive scholarship initiatives.”

Further impacting the increase, Parisi said, are Dr. Drake and the Board of Trustees’ commitment to CMU’s new 1:1 iPad initiative, Digital U, the new Thogmorton Center for Allied Health, and a nearly-complete $10 million renovation of the Stedman Hall of Science.

“It appears the best-kept secret in Missouri, Central Methodist University, is about to get out,” said Drake. “As our students get to live the Central experience, get to learn and grow under a talented and caring faculty, get to excel on the court and on the field, and become prepared to make a difference in the world, I’m not surprised that they are telling others of their life here at CMU.”

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