In bringing talented students to study at Haverford, the College benefits enormously from its reputation as one of the very best liberal arts colleges in the world with a distinctive and resonant mission. While the powerful mission of the College has remained remarkably constant over time, the mechanisms for attracting students to the College must change as the landscape of higher education keeps changing. In its efforts to recruit the world’s finest students, Haverford competes with wealthier and better-known liberal arts colleges, and with many other kinds of institutions public and private. Furthermore, the changing demographics of college-bound students–much more diverse, along multiple measures, many with significant financial need–will continue to present new challenges to conventional wisdom and approaches. Identifying future Haverford students is only the first half of the process, though; maintaining access and affordability by providing admitted students adequate financial aid is also essential to the College’s mission. In order to maintain these values for future generations, we must constantly evaluate the sustainability and effectiveness of Haverford’s financial aid policies and procedures (see also section 5.B.).
- Continuously assess and strengthen the admission process. Evaluate the effectiveness of the admission process on an ongoing basis, including the numbers, academic quality, and diversity of applicants, yield rate, and comparative data with peers.
- Utilize savvy communication strategies and technology. Continue to develop consistent, coherent, effective messaging, and deliver messages in a more targeted, sophisticated manner to a broader range of audiences.
- Extend Haverford’s reach among candidates. Close the reputation/awareness gap between Haverford and admission competitors and establish appropriate targets for size of the applicant pool, yield rate, and other measures of the admission process.
- Ensure access to qualified students. Affirm the importance of financial aid to the values of the institution and the recruitment of students; direct Haverford philanthropy toward scholarship funding.
- Articulate a vision for the desired makeup of the student body. Consider the implications of globalization and the changing demographics of the College’s applicant pool on our goal of building a diverse community.
- Engage the College community. Important decisions about shaping the student body of the future should not take place in isolation within the Admission Office, but should engage the broader community. Similarly, attracting talented students to Haverford is most effectively done when the admission process is authentically integrated with the campus community.