ECU welcomes one of the largest freshman classes in university history


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – After graduating a record-breaking number of students during the 2018-2019 academic year, East Carolina University welcomed the third-largest freshman class in the university’s history this fall.

“I believe we have regained significant momentum this past year and that is reflected in the improved numbers of new freshmen, transfers and graduate students,” said Provost Ron Mitchelson. It has taken a lot of excellent pirate teamwork to achieve this positive outcome, and I am very appreciative for those collaborative efforts. We have already turned our attention to the next cycle of student recruitment and are looking forward to more good news next year.”

Increased numbers of freshmen (4,366) and new master’s students (1,280) contributed to ECU’s overall enrollment this fall of 28,651 down only 67 students from last year.

With so many students graduating last year, officials knew keeping enrollment numbers steady would be a challenge.

Stephanie Whaley, the assistant vice-chancellor, and director of admissions said more emphasis and new strategies were placed on recruitment efforts, which she believes is a primary reason so many first-time students chose ECU.

“The entire campus community worked together to show prospective students what makes ECU so special. Due to faculty, staff and current students all pitching in with the recruitment process, we were able to make major strides in growing new additions in Pirate Nation. I believe the collaborative foundation this past year will continue to flourish during this next recruitment cycle,” said Whaley.

ECU also expanded the number of regional recruiters placed around the state.

Five regionally based team members provide a more personalized experience for potential students in areas like Charlotte, Winston-Salem, and Raleigh.

Recruiting of students for next fall is well underway, and the first big event of this academic year, Fall Open House, is set for Sept. 28.

Open House is an opportunity for potential ECU students and their families to tour the campus and learn more about college life.

Megan Wade, associate director for marketing strategy, said this year’s registration numbers are outpacing 2018’s numbers.

The event brings thousands of people to campus.

In recent years, ECU has introduced other initiatives to make ECU more accessible to students.

RaiseMe is a platform that high school and community college students can use to earn micro-scholarships for their academic achievements and extracurricular activities.

ECU also entered into co-admission agreements with several North Carolina community colleges — a collaborative effort that makes it easier for community college students to transfer to ECU.

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