Freshman applicants for fall semester double

More freshman applied to St. John’s University for the 2010-11 academic year than any time in the school’s 140-year history, according to director of Admissions, Karen Vahey.

A total of 53,286 freshman applications were received and Vahey attributes the increase, nearly double the number submitted just four years ago, to the University’s embrace of technology and social networking features to its recruiting practices.

“More and more students are searching for colleges from their own living room or their study hall. They want to be able to tour their colleges and universities virtually via their iPhone, attend college fairs online, chat online with admissions counselors and submit their application online,” she said.

Transfer and international student applications increased by 43 percent and 50 percent respectively, in comparison with Fall 2009 admission statistics.

Through technology, St. John’s aims to expose potential candidates to the college’s unique spirits of diversity and enhanced academic opportunities. Intel ranked St. John’s as one of America’s top ten “Most Unwired College Campuses” this year. The last time St. John’s made the list was in 2004.

Prospective students can utilize online chats and social networking sites, such as
“Eye of the Storm,” that allows St. John’s admitted students to connect with one another and features blogs written by students and administrators.

Admitted students and their parents were invited to attend events and tours of the Queens and Staten Island campuses earlier this month. The 2010 Accepted Student Days featured presentations from current students and alumni, information about campus and resident life, financial aid information, and campus tours, according to the St. John’s Website.

The Admissions office reported that St. John’s plans to launch an iPhone application that will let the students take a virtual tour of the University’s campus.

While campus tours are useful for those able to visit the University, the current 3,044 international students from regions such as Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa find it harder to see the campus prior to arrival.

“Now more than ever, prospective students and their families need to know that they are making a sound investment, that they will receive a return on their investment via internships, prestigious fellowships, graduate school placement or employment,” said Vahey.