Freshmen enrollment reaches top numbers

More than 500 incoming freshmen have paid their matriculation fee and plan to attend Linfield this fall as of May 18; this is the highest number of incoming freshmen who have committed their money within the five years to have done so at this point in the year.
Director of Admission Lisa Knodle-Bragiel said that the admission staff surpassed its goal of 460 students but warned that the 541 would likely decrease during the summer.
“Throughout the summer, we get what’s called summer melts, which is basically students who paid their deposits and decide either to go to another college or to stay home, or they cancel their enrollment for one reason or another,” Knodle-Bragiel said.
A couple of important dates for anticipating “summer melts” are housing and billing. Billing usually takes place between July 8 and 10.
“When prospective students receive their bill for fall tuition payments, sometimes that’s a trigger to … reconsider their enrollment,” Knodle-Bragiel said.
Final numbers will not be secured until orientation and classes actually start in the fall.
The 541 students who plan to attend Linfield this year serve as a dramatic increase from last year, when only 430 students had made deposits by this point in the year.
“Last year was a challenging year for many people in the United States with the economic pressures and the economic crisis, so that affected things like enrollment,” Knodle-Bragiel said. “I think people maybe are a little bit over the hump; maybe last year was just an anomaly.”
The next highest number of freshmen to have made deposits at this point in the year during the last five years was in 2005 with 489 students. The goal for the Office of Admission has been between 450 and 460 students for the past several years. Knodle-Bragiel said this goal is typically met but is not always spot on.
She also said that 2,176 students have applied to the college so far and that the college had more qualified students to choose from instead of simply accepting more students.
“We had a high number of applications [this year], and we had a very solid applicant pool,” she said. “Their academic profile is consistent with the years past, so it’s a really strong group of students.”
As usual, about 50 percent of students who have made their deposits come from Oregon, and 20-25 percent come from Washington. Knodle-Bragiel said that Linfield also frequently gets a significant draw of students from Hawaii and California, too.
This year there may be a small increase in Californians, she said.
Braden Smith
Managing editor Braden Smith can be reached at

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