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Overflow of freshman admissions introduces challenges for the present and future

Benedictine College welcomed over 600 new freshmen in the fall of 2021 making it the largest freshman class ever received.  

A statistic from the Office of Academic Records and Registrar shows that 603 freshmen enrolled at Benedictine College, a 5% increase from the previous year. This influx of students, while great for the college, did not come without its challenges. 

The Dean of Students Dr. Joe Wurtz, while enthusiastic and positive about the new freshmen class, agrees. 

“To serve more students requires more resources, personnel, etc. We have to be sensitive to that and try to create an infrastructure that supports that influx,” Wurtz said. 

The college is building a new dorm building to help house new students in the coming years to help satisfy their residential commitment of having between 70 and 85 percent of students live on campus. 

Newman Residential Assistant Andrew Hockel, junior, also commented on the struggles of housing such a large freshmen class. 

“The housing situation, getting everybody into a room, I think that was our biggest impact at the beginning of the year which has kind of sorted itself out right now,” Hockel said. 

Rooms intended for two students were made to house three students. However, as students dropped out, by the second semester, residents in Newman Hall were living comfortably. 

“It’s a little nerve wracking but also super exciting because, ya know, the more the merrier. I would rather have a full dorm than an empty dorm.” Hockel said. 

The college does not plan to have a cap on admitted students because of the drop-off of high school graduates. 

“The future for college enrollment looks precarious,” Wurtz said. “So that’s why again, a large enrollment class for us was a good thing and we hope that continues to trend upwards.” 

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