Epi Sanchez '11, who was born in
Mexico, learned about Manchester
when an admissions counselor visited his high school in Hammond, Ind.
Athletic training major Makenna Hamilton '14 found a good fit at Manchester, and a position on the volleyball team and the Dean's List.
A prospective student talks with his father about the opportunities
As outreach coordinator, Heather Varner coordinates calling campaigns, helps
new recruits and completes
AS MORE AND MORE STUDENTS ARE FINDING that Manchester is a perfect fit, the accompanying statistics are dizzying. Working to enroll a 425-student Class of 2015, the MC Admissions team roster spans the entire College community: staff from every department, all faculty and coaches, scores of students and alumni recruiters.
It all began almost two years ago, when members of the Class of 2015 were juniors in more than 362 high schools in 22 states and 21 countries. For some, it started even earlier.
Jill Bower '14, visited campus as a eighth-grader from Galveston, Ind., to watch her sister Chelsea Bower '11, a Spartan cheerleader. "I loved coming to Manchester to watch my sister cheer," says Jill, an athletic training major. "I got to know campus and loved it."
But back to the statistics: Manchester's new class arriving in late August 2011 is the product of more than 1,746 official campus tours, 3,581 applications, 8,311 personal telephone calls by admissions counselors, 408,000 postcards and 1.1 million e-mails.
And hundreds of hours of planning and preparing. Here's how we did it:
SEPTEMBER 2009: "At Manchester, I found success," declares junior sociology major Anna Graham '12 in the first wave of hundreds of thousands of "I found" messages sent to prospective students for the Class of 2015. The postcards mirror
other promotions – from posters and advertisements to brochures large and small – created for the College's hugely popular "I found" campaign. Tailored to teenagers, the "I founds" tout opportunity, friendship, learning, connections, support, fun, challenge, family, acceptance, success … with new buzzwords added as current students tell their stories.
OCTOBER 2009: The opportunity to compete in NCAA Division III sports attracts nearly two-thirds of MC applicants. Spartan coaches begin scouting during their future student-athletes' junior year, evaluating not only their academic and athletic abilities but also sportsmanship and interaction with their teammates and coaches. Future Spartans fill out online athletics questionnaires and visit campus to observe a game or meet. All of MC's 19 teams host future student-athletes in overnight stays.
November-December 2009: Academics lead the conversation in late fall, when more than 7,000 high school students receive invites to Junior Scholars Day based on their PSAT scores or guidance counselors' recommendations. Juniors attending the December event are guaranteed an academic scholarship for their MC first year of $8,000 to $14,000.
JANUARY-MARCH 2010: Admissions counselors are urging juniors to focus on their GPAs and get involved in the full high school experience, including extracurricular activities. "That gives them more options," says Brandi Schuman '01 Chauncey, associate director for recruitment. Foundations and other scholarship-givers, as well as colleges and universities give first preference to strong, engaged students, says Chauncey, who has recruited in northeast Indiana and Michigan. "It also prepares them for college." Meanwhile, those postcards, e-mails and mailers keep flowing.
APRIL 2010: It's time for Spartan Days! High school juniors are experiencing what college is like for their first time. They're getting student-led "insider" tours of campus, scarfing pizza fire-baked in the servery, and peeking into residence halls. They're also discovering what a college lecture is really like – perhaps "Experiencing the Arts" a la Professor Planer. Their admissions counselors wrap up the day.
MAY-AUGUST 2010: Region by region, admissions counselors are building relationships, especially in the Indiana-Michigan-Ohio-Illinois area. Emphasis south is paying off, with a 165 percent increase in applicants from Indianapolis and central Indiana, says Ange Huffman, assistant director of admissions and an Indianapolis resident. Will Patch '07 begins fielding early inquiries from high schoolers in east-central Indiana and Ohio.
Meanwhile, Adam Hohman '01, associate director of operations for admissions, is keying up admissions social media sites, from Facebook to Twitter to YouTube and especially Manchester & Me – where prospective and soon-to-be students can interact with each other and members of the College community and maybe even find a roommate.
At this point, the College has almost 3,500 applications from high school seniors entering their senior year. The College also is mailing out applications to 600 students who likely will qualify for mid-range scholarships.
FALL 2010: "YES! We are happy to offer you admission to Manchester College and are delighted to welcome you as a member of the class of 2015." The letter is truly in the mail.
With students back in school, MC Admissions moves into high gear, mobilizing Spartan Ambassadors, student assistants and telecounselors in connecting with the seniors. Long days stretch into the evening, when it's easiest to interact with the active young students Manchester seeks. Everyone who receives an acceptance letter is invited to another round of Spartan Days. Counselors are traveling the Midwest, meeting with students at more than 500 high schools, college fairs and Church of the Brethren congregations. Their message: Time's a-wasting, get those applications in the pipeline!
The Enrollment Management Committee meets weekly to consider the Manchester success potential of "borderline" applicants.
JANUARY 2011: 100 percent of Manchester's full-time undergraduate students receive financial aid, but only if they and their parents file the online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with the federal government. A full-court press begins to urge students to complete and file their FAFSA. The College cannot calculate need-based financial aid until it has received the form from the federal government.
"With need-based aid, we try to help families close the gap between their own resources and the cost of a Manchester degree," says Dave McFadden '82, executive vice president. "Our goals are to help families with college financial aid and draw strong students to Manchester."
FEBRUARY 2011: More than 190 admitted students who attend Scholarship Day get a valuable opportunity to increase their academic award. Each has two 20-minute interviews with a current student and a faculty member (often in their major of interest). The interviews are casual, not a test, says Kim Reinoehl '98, assistant director of admissions. "We just want to get to know them better, and learn about their strengths and goals." It's also an exhausting day for staff and faculty, who are trying to get a sense of each and every one of the students.
When the dust settles, more than 190 students receive almost $11.3 million in academic scholarships. For Kelsey Barta '13, Scholarship Day was her first real college experience. "I was really nervous about my interview but throughout the day I met many other students and decided that Manchester is ultimately where I would end up."
Barta spends the night on campus with members of the Spartan volleyball team. The next day she gets a warm welcome from President Jo Young '69 Switzer, tours campus with a student ambassador, lunches with the volleyball team (she tried out the made-to-order stir-fry from the Mongolian grill), attends seminars on the Fast Forward (three-year degree) program and Honors programs and tours Garver Hall.
MARCH-APRIL 2011: The results of hours and hours of calculations and negotiating aid formulas, students start receiving financial aid offers from the College. The window for calculating the aid has narrowed as Congress and Indiana legislators argue their budgets. Students who still haven't selected their college arrive for Decision Days and overnight visits with current students. Counselors keep in close touch.
MAY-JULY 2011: By May 1, about 80 percent of the member of the Class of 2015 have deposited the required $250 toward the first year of tuition. (Tuition is about $25,000 plus $10,000 for room and board, although these costs are significantly reduced by MC academic scholarships, need-based federal and state aid, need-based MC discounts and non-MC scholarships.)
At New Student Summer Orientation in June, they meet with advisers and faculty in their declared majors, smile for their student ID, register for fall classes, sign up for housing and get important health services and academic support information. Housing assignments arrive in July. Students have a choice, prioritized by their original MC application dates.
AUGUST 27, 2011: Welcome to Manchester College! It's Move-In Day for new students. Student Orientation Leaders and several athletic teams greet the stream of vehicles and help with the hauling. For the next four days, it's all about welcoming Manchester's newest students and preparing them for college-level study habits, finding their classrooms, healthy living, new life-long friends and a world of new experiences.
BY KATHRYN MILLER '12
Faculty: Proof positive of future
"IT TAKES A HUGE VILLAGE to make it work," says Dr. Susan Klein, associate professor of chemistry, who has hand-written hundreds of cards to prospective chemistry students and met thousands of students at admissions events.
She's among 33 faculty ambassadors who reach out to prospective students in their academic areas. They send cards and letters, engage in e-mail conversations, invite students into their classrooms and sit down to chat or dine with them.
Such up-front "side-by-side" attention has a dramatic impact on college-bound students' decisions. The bond sets almost immediately.
"I met you at Scholarship Day" or "I remember coming to your class to visit" are familiar first conversations between faculty and new students on the first days of the semester. Prospective students who meet Dr. Victoria Eastman, assistant professor of education, speak of her enthusiastic attention and warmth that continues beyond the initial connection.
For some prospective students trying on their first college class for size, their excitement is memorable. As a high school senior sitting in on Dr. Klein's chemistry class at Scholarship Days, Kyle Watson '10 was almost jumping out of his skin. Watson today is working on a Ph.D. in organic chemistry at University of Notre Dame; he returns to visit his MC mentors.
Faculty in all academic disciplines make connections, from Dr. Debra Lynn in music to Dr. Kim Duchane in exercise and sport sciences to Tim Ogden '87 in accounting and business. Each year, more than 30 faculty members go the extra mile. It's exhausting on some days, especially Scholarship Day, but worth it.
"I know what we do makes a difference," says Klein.
BY WILLIAM A. KALLAS '12
Proud alumni S.T.A.R. in MC recruiting program
"MANCHESTER COLLEGE MEANS A LOT to me," says Rod Lone '97, who teaches seventh-grade health and is head wrestling coach for NorthWood High School in Nappanee, Ind. "My success with my family and my career are directly linked to my experience at Manchester.
"Since my graduation, I have encouraged friends, family, students, athletes and anyone interested in going to college to enroll at Manchester."
Like all Manchester College alumni, Lone has connections that could change the lives of college-bound students looking for the perfect fit. He belongs to a growing organization of volunteers called S.T.A.R. – Spartan Team of Alumni Recruiters. Already, the "team roster" is 150 alumni strong.
They help connect students to Manchester by sharing their experiences, providing information about the College and helping to put them in touch with MC admissions staff.
Mark Heiden '01, principal of Creekside Elementary School in Franklin, Ind., is never shy about sporting his College colors, even when surrounded by Franklin College alumni. Principal Heiden discovered fans among two fourth-graders who created their own Manchester College T-shirts for a recent College T-Shirt Day to promote future college attendance.
Generations grow tall family trees of Manchester alumni. Many students learned about the College from parents, siblings and grandparents proud to show off their alma mater and serve as living examples of the high quality of a Manchester degree.
"Alumni reach out to prospective students because of the pure fact that they enjoyed their experience at Manchester," says Brandi Schuman '01 Chauncey, associate director of recruitment and S.T.A.R. coordinator. "I have had alumni walk prospective students right up to me while I was visiting a high school or working a college fair."
S.T.A.R alumni help by assisting MC admissions staff at college fairs and recruiting events, making phone calls and bringing prospective students to campus for a visit. Learn how to join the S.T.A.R. team >
BY WILLIAM A. KALLAS '12
Critical to recruiting: the coaches
10,000 mailings + 8,486 phone calls + 36,510 e-mails = 181 Spartans
MANCHESTER'S COACHES DEVOTE an enormous amount of their time recruiting student-athletes for the College's 19 NCAA Division III sports. More than a third of the students in the incoming class next fall are Spartans, recruited primarily by the coaches.
Spartan coaches travel the Midwest, recruiting athletes who will succeed in the classroom and in their sports. Each has hundreds of students to meet. Wide Receiver Coach Jeremy Markham '96 is the Spartan head recruiter, and needs to fill the largest roster – almost 100 players. His football recruit list is 1,700 to 2,500 names thick.
"I came to Manchester to play football and I did my freshman year," said former Spartan defensive back Ronnie Schweyer '11, a chemistry major.
Business major Kelsie Fieler '14 thinks she found Manchester on her own. "I was on a visit to another school when I saw Manchester listed on the banners for the HCAC conference. When I got home I looked it up, applied, talked to the volleyball coach, researched the academic programs and here I am." Actually, Coach Kendra Marlow already had her eye on Fieler.
Marlow traveled to Cincinnati "numerous times" to see Fieler play with her club team and they exchanged e-mails and phone calls. When Fieler visited campus for Scholarship Day, she roomed and ate with members of the volleyball team. She went home with a $64,000 four-year Trustee Scholarship for her academic prowess.
Coach Brian Cashdollar recruits for the cross-country teams, and found health and physical education major Megan Hammel '13 of Bristol, Ind. But like most Spartans, it's not all about the sports.
"I came to Manchester because I liked that it was a small school," said Hammel. She also heard about the College's Triple Guarantee of financial aid, a diploma in four years and a job after graduation.
"I value being part of their lives for four years," says Cashdollar, "watching them grow and hopefully instilling in them this most-valuable lesson: The amount of effort they put into their sports and academics has a direct influence on their potential for success."
BY KATHRYN MILLER '12
Let me tell you about my new friends …
Not just another campus tour
IN JULY 2010, A SUMMER CAMPUS JOB in the Admissions Office for Cassie Davis '12 led to new international connections and experiences for the political science major and perhaps, new international students for Manchester College.
She will never forget when Hannah and Joachim Hornig and their children stopped by for a campus visit. With that 1½ hour tour, Cassie and the Hornigs embarked on what surely is a lifetime friendship.
This story actually begins in 1990, when Hannah, an education major from England, and Joachim, an international business and marketing major from Germany, met at Manchester through BCA Abroad. Far from home, the exchange students immediately were "adopted" by 1961 MC graduates Bob and Martha Mendenhall.
"Joachim and I had a very special friendship from the moment that we met," Hannah recalls. The couple married in 1998 on the Isle of Wight with Manchester College friends at their sides. Today, they live near Cheltenham, England with their boys, Dominik, 11, and Oliver, 8. This past summer was special: Hannah was turning 40 and it was the 20th anniversary of their MC meeting. They visited friends (and the Mendenhalls) and wanted to inspire their sons to begin saving for a future BCA exchange to Manchester.
Here's the twist: Cassie was working (and giving campus tours) to help finance her BCA studies in England that coming fall. As they walked about campus, they realized Cassie's classes at the University of Gloucestershire would be close by. "I was so much more excited about my trip once I met Hannah and Joachim, just knowing that I had new friends there already," Cassie says.
In England, the Hornigs and Cassie kept in contact. Cassie and communication studies major Sheridan Slagle '12 (also a BCA student) even joined a Hornig family vacation to the Isle of Wight. The 3,800-mile friendship endures, just like the MC friendship between the Mendenhalls and the Hornigs. Who knows? Perhaps young Dominik and Oliver will extend the MC connections.
BY KATHRYN MILLER '12