Monday marked the beginning of what promises to be an exciting year for Edinboro University.
As a result of increasing admissions standards, the University saw a 12 percent year-over-year reduction in its acceptance rate for first-year students – 81 percent vs. 92 percent in fall 2017, which was down from an all-time high of 99 percent in 2014.
Edinboro leads the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education with the highest percentage of incoming students earning a high school GPA of 3.0 or higher. The average GPA for first-year students entering in fall 2017 was 3.54.
The increased admissions standards are designed to bring in students who the University believes have the ability to successfully complete a challenging university education. Preliminary data shows the strategy is working. Retention of students between their first and second years of study are expected to be up approximately seven percentage points, which is significant, according to university administrators.
The University has also worked on honing its message. Exactly what does it mean to be a Fighting Scot?
Pittsburgh-based BD&E, the University’s contract marketing firm, spent several months last spring interviewing members of the campus community to hear firsthand from students, faculty and staff what they believe is at the heart of Edinboro’s essence. During the summer, they worked with university officials to take what they learned from their research to shape the Edinboro story.
Following is an excerpt from an Aug. 30 letter from Edinboro’s Interim President Michael Hannan to members of the university community:
“BD&E has turned a mirror on our community. The narrative that’s been developed is a grass-roots message that stems from your words.
Your message will inform the story we tell going forward. What is that story?
Edinboro was built for students with passion, perseverance and grit. And when challenged, they always rise to the occasion.
Yes, you are recent high school grads, graduate students and adult learners.
But you are much more than that.
You are athletes, veterans, artists, scientists, story tellers, educators, entrepreneurs and healers.
You are thinkers and you are doers.
Throughout our history, we’ve created a place for those willing to work, those willing to go further and those willing to aim for something greater.
That’s what it means to strive. And that’s just what you do each and every day.”
“This is the message that captures who we are and have always been,” Hannan said.
Hannan has served Edinboro for more than 30 years as a faculty member, dean and provost prior to being named interim president in April.
Video: Edinboro University – a place For Those Who Strive.