Admissions office working towards reduction in class sizes

PETE PRENDERGAST ’16
MANAGING EDITOR
Trinity College is looking to make a change in its applicant pool.  Specifically, the Office of Admissions is aiming to gradually decrease its incoming class sizes over the course of the next few years.
“One of the conversations we’re having is whether or not such large class sizes are the correct target,” said Trinity’s Vice President of Enrollment and Student Success Angel B. Pérez.  “Our number is high in terms of context with our peer groups and other NESCAC schools.”
Currently, Trinity holds an undergraduate student body of 2,255 students, the fourth largest among all NESCAC schools.  Wesleyan, Middlebury and Tufts are the only three schools in the conference with larger student bodies.  With their new admissions strategy, Trinity hopes to bring its undergraduate population to levels closer to that of schools like Hamilton College (1,900 undergraduate students) or Connecticut College (1,893 undergraduate students).
The purpose of smaller admissions pools for a school like Trinity is to promote a better academic reputation.  “One thing I have been trying to promote is bringing in smaller class sizes to increase the academic quality of the applicant pool,” said Pérez.
While the school’s new admissions strategy is aimed to improve its academic character, such a decrease in class sizes could have adverse effects on Trinity’s financial situation and the size of its endowment.  As Student Government President Max Le Merle ’16 recently explained, Trinity’s endowment is losing money in tuition revenue because the school has began to accept smaller class sizes.
Because of its effect on Trinity’s financial situation, the biggest problem the school faces in cutting class sizes is how they will be able to ensure a minimal effect on the budget.
“Our job is to figure out how to take smaller class sizes without affecting the budget,” Pérez said. “We over-rely on tuition and fundraising.  But there are other ways to bring in revenue.”
One source of revenues that Trinity may look to expand is in graduate program, summer program and international program tuition revenues.  “We have a small but mighty graduate program but it might be time to expand those programs,” said Pérez. “There is also a lot of time at Trinity spent without students on campus so we have the potential to add new programs for those parts of the year.”

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