Mason to See First Post-Final Four Application Class

Posted: January 3, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Dave Andrews

Andrew Flagel
Andrew Flagel, dean of Admissions
Creative Services photo

With the freshman application deadline for Fall 2007 coming up on Jan. 15, Mason is in the midst of its first post-Final Four application season.

Each year, Mason’s Admissions Office receives far more qualified applications than can be accommodated, and the application number has been surging. Mason also saw a large spike in the number of students agreeing to attend.

“This is a good problem to have,” says Andrew Flagel, dean of admissions. “There’s no doubt that being in the Final Four really accelerated that trajectory in a way that none of us could really have anticipated.”

Flagel says the size of campus tours has doubled and oftentimes tripled since last April; not to mention a noticeable increase in phone calls, e-mails and general inquiries.

“We’ve moved,” explains Flagel, “from so-to-speak ‘weeding out’ the students who were unqualified to choosing from among well-qualified students.”

With a marked boost in freshman applications for fall 2007 – up more than 20 percent from one year ago – Flagel maintains that the increased interest goes beyond the Final Four.

“We’ve had a 7 to 12 percent increase in applications every year since I’ve been here,” says Flagel, who joined Mason in 2001. “It’s hard to imagine that it’s not going to be sustainable, because it was already happening on its own.”

As a still-expanding institution, campus space is expected to increase 102 percent by 2020. According to Tom Calhoun, vice president of facilities, the university will invest nearly $500 million in current and upcoming campus construction.

The new construction includes dining areas and fitness centers, as well as student housing that will open in phases beginning in the summer of 2007. Expansions and renovations will also be made to the Patriot Center and the Physical Education buildings, as well as new buildings for Art and Visual Technology in the College of Visual and Performing Arts and the Volgenau School of Information Technology and Engineering.

Calhoun agrees that the growth is not directly related to Mason’s trip to the Final Four – much of the construction was already under way or on the drawing board prior to last spring. But he says the developments on campus are just as thrilling as what happened on the basketball court.

“It’s an exciting time for the campus on many fronts. The construction taking place mirrors the events that took place during the Final Four,” says Calhoun. “It’s all coming together.”

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