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UH Hilo Expecting Jump In Fall Enrollment After Recruiting Effort

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Officials at the University of Hawaii at Hilo expect freshman enrollment to increase this fall after seeing growth in the number of student applicants and acceptances.

The Big Island university is in its second year of a five-year contract with the higher education consulting firm EAB, which is assisting the university in recruitment efforts, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported yesterday.

The firm is helping target students who are most likely to succeed in Hilo based on factors like location, university programs, grades and test scores, said Farrah-Marie Gomes, the university's vice chancellor for student affairs.

The university has received 4,093 applications since last fall, double the number from the same time during the last application cycle, Gomes said. About 2,000 people have been accepted into the university for the fall semester so far, up from the 1,430 students accepted by the same time last year.

"All we know is we've received more applications and accepted more students than ever before in a single application cycle," Gomes said.

The university's enrollment has been decreasing since it peaked at 4,157 students in 2012. The university aims to have an enrollment of 3,500 students for this fall, a 2.8 percent increase from last year.

"We have every expectation that we will see an increase in the fall 2019 incoming class," Gomes said. "What we don't know yet is how much of an increase."

Under the recruitment program, the university works to establish relationships with high school sophomores and juniors. Through the consulting firm, the university then assists seniors through the application process from start to finish.

"We are seeing an amazing response to our outreach, both here in Hawaii and beyond," said Zach Street, university director of admissions. "Students seem to be inspired by UH-Hilo and what we offer."

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