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Master's College, CalArts see jump in applications

Weak economy plays role in students' decisions

Posted: April 19, 2009 11:07 p.m.
Updated: April 20, 2009 10:00 a.m.
Admissions officials at The Master's College, a Christian liberal arts school in Placerita Canyon, and at California Institute of the Arts in Valencia saw a jump in the number of applicants for the 2009-10 school year.

"We're definitely up from the past few years," Hollie Gorsh, director of admissions at The Master's College said. "I definitely think the economy plays a part in that. More students are just applying to more schools and they're kind of shopping around."

From the 600 applications received, about 475 acceptance letters have been sent out," Gorsh said.

The college expects several hundred more applications to come in through the beginning of September, she said.

As students mull over what college to attend, about 330 incoming freshmen are expected to attend The Master's College in the fall, Gorsh said.

"We've been pretty consistent with that number over the past couple of years," she said.

"The big questions is, is that going to remain constant?"

It's difficult to gauge the economy's impact on the number of students who will actually be able to attend college in the fall because of financial aid concerns and the weak economy.

Still, results at The Master's College could differ from other institutions like state universities.

"I think we are a little different because we really have our own niche and the majority of students that apply to The Master's College know what we stand for," Gorsh said.

For California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, the bump in application numbers has been a small one.

Much like The Master's College, CalArts serves a specific field of study in the visual and performing arts.

"We have seen a slight increase in our applications. Just under 3 percent," said Molly Ryan, director of admissions.

The school received about 3,200 applications from interested undergraduate and graduate students and accepts about 32 percent, she said.

While the art institute's acceptance rate has been steady, the question of how the economy might impact an accepted student's ability to attend the Valencia school in the fall remains unanswered.

"We do expect that we're going to see more students applying for various types of aid," Ryan said.

The economy could be changing the ways in which students look at higher education by choosing to apply to a broader range of schools or studying closer to home, Ryan said.

Students typically have until May 1 to decide which college they will attend in the fall.


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