Editorial: Making NU an enticing choice (Forum)

The letters are in the mail. High school seniors across the nation are rejoicing over acceptance packets and shedding tears over rejection letters. They are shopping for college sweatshirts and starting to plan their end-of-summer road trips to their respective new schools.

For NU hopefuls, the number of rejoicing seniors is at an all-time high this year. The 2008 regular acceptance pool of 6,327 is the largest ever, hitting a high point in an upslope of acceptance numbers that began in 2000. However, the number of those enrolling remains stagnant.

What does this saying about the university? Why are an increasingly large number of students accepted in order to retain a consistent enrollment rate?

Perhaps it is a matter of procedure. Perhaps with the introduction of the Common Application, more students are able to apply to more schools. They are accepted to more schools and less likely to choose NU.

Or perhaps it is a matter of appeal. Perhaps NU is not presenting a compelling enough case to draw in accepted students. Our reputation is that of a quality private university, but many comparable schools can claim the same thing. What does NU have to place it above the rest? The School of Communication and Medill School of Journalism continue to fill a unique niche, but as a whole, NU lacks the edge that pushes those applicants to act on their acceptance.

Bienen has spent plenty of time establishing NU as a financial powerhouse. Now it’s time to create a community that is unique enough to draw students in and excellent enough to get them to commit.

NU needs to focus on improving its campus in such a way that accepted seniors can’t resist enrolling.