Berklee's Enrollment Remains Strong
Despite global events that have caused enrollment struggles at many colleges, Berklee began the fall term by meeting its enrollment target of 4,000 students. The main source of enrollment each term is, of course, those who are continuing their education. This year, roughly 3,000 students will continue their path toward a Berklee degree or diploma. Among this group are several hundred students who have returned from a leave of longer than one term. These students may have "stopped out" for a term or two or, in other cases, may be returning to Berklee after many years.
In light of global economic circumstances, Berklee made a decision last fall to augment its financial aid and scholarship program, extending roughly $2 million in additional aid to continuing students. At the start of the current budget year, we further increased aid support so that the annual total is now roughly $5 million more than last year's total. This commitment from the college is specifically aimed at encouraging and supporting students in their quest to graduate. While we are not in a position to meet every need of every student, we know that this initiative makes a difference in our ability to support, encourage, and retain students.
This fall 1,070 new students entered the college-which is the largest entering class in Berklee's history. Each of these students came from one of nearly 50 audition sites in 23 countries. They all went through our admission process, which includes an audition and interview and a thorough evaluation of a student's academic and personal history. The process helps us answer these core questions: "Is this student a good match for Berklee, and is Berklee a good match for this student?" Applications for fall admission also set an all-time record at 4,755, an increase of more than 10 percent from the previous year. As such, we were blessed by a large group of highly talented students and challenged to choose our entering class from such an abundance of riches.
Our matriculating class is extraordinary in many ways. Here are some facts about this year's entering group. The domestic students hail from 44 different states, and the 237 international students come from 65 different countries. Their primary languages are English, Spanish, Korean, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, German, Chinese, Hebrew, Portuguese, Russian, Slovenian, French, Greek, Romanian, Thai, Turkish, Danish, Swedish, Arabic, Filipino, Telugu, Norwegian, Serbian, Icelandic, Persian, Bulgarian, and Finnish. ALANA (African American, Latino, Asian American, and Native American) representation totals 235 students. Of the 1,050 entering students, 320 are female. Among those entering, 77 percent receive some form of financial aid, and 47 percent receive scholarship support.
At the start of the school year, the college found itself in the enviable position of being fully enrolled with a class that enriches the diversity, depth, and breadth of the Berklee experience for all members of the community. Our students are extraordinarily talented, committed, and resilient.
With the fall term under way, the admissions staff has shifted gears to focus on recruiting the next group of incoming students for 2010. With support from faculty, staff, alumni, and partners, our team will again deliver the Berklee message around the globe to prospective students and families. At the same time, enrollment professionals in the college's offices of Financial Aid, Scholarships and Student Employment, and the Registrar are working to support and retain our current students. Later this year, the college will complete its first comprehensive enrollment strategy to help coordinate and align our efforts to recruit and retain the best student body possible.
More than ever, we remain committed to keeping a Berklee education accessible. Our financial aid initiatives have given particular attention to maintaining Berklee's commitment to excellence while supporting our long-standing traditions of attracting and retaining students from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. With the continued support of alumni and friends of the college, we hope to enhance our ability to make a Berklee education affordable to as many potential students as possible.