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Drexel Posts Record Increase in Enrollment

August 13, 2010

More than 2,750 freshmen will enter Drexel this fall—a record. The highest increase is in out-of-state and international students. International students increased by 28 percent while students from states other than Pennsylvania and New Jersey increased 89 percent over last year. Drexel will welcome 90 undergraduates from China alone.

“Our recruitment of international students is based on developing multi-level relationships with counselors, school leaders and government officials in other countries,” said Joan McDonald, Drexel senior vice president for enrollment management.

According to McDonald, the international recruitment team spent significant time in China visiting secondary schools, consular offices and with families that had expressed interest in Drexel. While travel is important in recruiting, McDonald and her recruitment team are finding social media to be equally valuable.

Drexel, which currently enrolls 22,493 students, is one of the first U.S. universities to have an official presence on QQ, a Chinese website that is the largest social networking site in the world. Drexel is also one of nine U.S. colleges that founded CNA-USA, an alliance with secondary schools in China to provide students support and guidance in the U.S. college admissions process.

In the United States, the surge of students enrolling from beyond the local region is attributed to Drexel’s emerging national profile, according to McDonald. “Several years ago, we established recruitment offices in California, Texas and Florida as each of these states will have increasing numbers of college-bound seniors, while states in the Northeast will have significantly fewer college-bound seniors” said McDonald.

About 200 students have committed to Drexel from these three states alone. The number of Californians headed to Drexel doubled over last year—largely due to Drexel’s Center for Graduate Studies in Sacramento, which opened in January 2009.

Growth in Drexel’s national rankings has also contributed to the increase in freshmen and transfer students, and attracts high achieving students to Drexel. Valedictorians among incoming freshmen increased to 23 and salutatorians more than doubled from 11 in 2009 to 43 this year. The average SAT score is 1204. Drexel is ranked as one of the most innovative universities by U.S.News & World Report (2010). The University is also ranked one of the “Top 45 Best Buys,” for an undergraduate education by The Fiske Guide to Colleges and one of the top 24 best values among private universities.


News media contact: Niki Gianakaris, director, Drexel News Bureau, 215-895-6741,

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