Years of broad effort to build Franklin & Marshall’s national profile and strengthen its academic resources and student aid budgets reached a dramatic milestone this winter, as applications from prospective students reached the highest mark in the school's 228-year history.
By mid-January, F&M’s Office of Admission received more than 7,000 applications from students seeking places in the Class of 2019, an increase of 25 percent over the previous record of 5,632, set in 2008, and 28 percent more than last year’s application total of 5,472.
“This is a landmark moment for Franklin & Marshall College,” said F&M President Daniel R. Porterfield. “These unprecedented application numbers reflect our institution’s growing appeal to superb students from the United States and around the world.”
The growth in applications occurred across the board, with a 27 percent increase from domestic students and a 33 percent spike in international applicants. The application surge reflects the transformational educational experience F&M provides, said Daniel Lugo, vice president for admission and financial aid. Lugo noted that the College has been spotlighted in national media such as The New York Times and The Washington Post, and recognized by the leading rankings organizations, including U.S. News & World Report.
“Liberal arts colleges recruit by word of mouth—by person to person discussion among students, college counselors, faculty, parents and admission staff. That’s one reason I’m so inspired by this growth,” Lugo said. “People we want talking about F&M are doing so—and in rapidly growing numbers.”
Also contributing to the record-breaking rise in applications is F&M’s emergence as a national leader in the area of college access. In a front-page story in December, The Washington Post called F&M’s move from merit aid to need-based assistance a “recruiting revolution that has drawn national attention.”