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Undergraduate Applications Continue to Increase for Fall 2000

In September 1999, an Undergraduate Recruitment Plan for Fall 2000 was presented to the campus community by the then-new dean of Admissions, Marcelle Heerschap. The plan identified internal and external forces that impact the recruitment of students to George Mason University, and reaffirmed that the most significant admissions action, as stated in the report titled "Engaging the Future,"* was to "identify and recruit the highest quality undergraduate students." As a result of this stated action, the recruitment plan summarized fall recruitment activities, which included more than 500 high school visits and college fairs in Virginia, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island, North Carolina, Florida, and California. Limited international travel was also conducted in Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Some of the new initiatives planned for 19992000 were (1) a new family of undergraduate publications, (2) updating the Admissions website, (3) enhancing the Mason Ambassadors program, and (4) developing a transfer scholarship program.

Between fall of 1996 and fall of 1999, the Office of Admissions saw a 19 percent increase in the number of undergraduate students applying to the university. This number continues to grow, and as we go to press, freshman applications for fall of 2000 have increased almost 15 percent compared to fall of 1999 and are at an all-time high of 6,985. As numbers of freshman applications have increased, so has the quality of the applicants. The mean freshman grade point average (GPA) for enrolled students was 2.99 in 1995, compared to a mean of 3.13 in 2000. The mean SAT score has risen from 950 in 1995 to 1,065 in 1999. Transfer applications are the same as they were this time last year; however, the deadline date for transfer applicants is June 1, and it's too early to predict what those numbers will look like.

These numbers could not have been attained without the support and commitment of the entire George Mason community. Students lead tours and talk with prospective students and their families when they visit the campus. Faculty, staff, and alumni interview thousands of freshman applicants between December and April. Alumni recommend prospective students to the Admissions Office, assist at college fairs and high school visits in the fall and spring, and host receptions for new students in the spring and summer.

The Admissions Office welcomes the support and participation of alumni in any of its activities. As we begin to plan for fall 2000 recruiting, we would especially welcome alumni wishing to recommend prospective students or anyone interested in participating in fall recruiting activities. Send an e-mail to the dean of Admissions at if you would like to help.

The report "Engaging the Future" was the result of the yearlong efforts of a special task force, appointed by President Alan Merten, charged with assessing the university's past initiatives and making recommendations for its future directions. It can be found on the web at


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