Just 52 years ago, Keene State College only admitted 33 percent of students who applied to attend the college, placing the admissions process up to par with the University of New Hampshire and other colleges and universities around the country.

In the Oct. 14, 1965 edition of The Monadnock, the former name for The Equinox, the newly-hired Director of Admissions John J. Cunningham said in that year, only one of every three applicants was accepted to KSC as a first-year student.

Cunningham said, “This is a statistic which shows more selectivity than many colleges in this country, and this selectivity cannot help but increase as the demand for college grows. Over 1,600 applications were received during the past year, and our office could only admit 528.”

According to Cunningham, the selectivity did not come from the Office of Admissions, but from the necessity that the college can only admit students who have the strongest application materials. “Many students who we have admitted in the past would not be admitted under today’s situation,” he said.

The 1965 first-year class presented high school averages of C+ to B- grades, the article stated, and Cunningham said with these strict standards, the quality of applicants can only increase.

“It is the primary function of the Director of Admissions to admit qualified applicants to the College. It is his job to evaluate personal and academic records in order to reach a decision regarding admission or refusal. But, this is not the sole function of the Director,” Cunningham explained.

The Office of Admissions, he said, is the office in which the quality and personality of the student body will be determined.

Not only do admission officers accept and refuse prospective students, but he said admissions officers must counsel students, whether they are accepted to the college or not.

In the case that they are admitted to KSC, he said admissions officers must inform students of which programs they should apply for, as well as guide them in taking additional high school courses that will adequately prepare them for the course load at Keene State.

In the case of a student not getting accepted and admitted to KSC, he said the applicant should be notified of the reason(s) for refusal, and advice should be given to the students to help them achieve their college ambitions in the future.

“No student should should ever be treated as a number in a file drawer. Each student, each applicant is important and deserves understanding and fair consideration,” Cunningham explained.

In the fall 2017 semester, 82.6 percent of students who applied to KSC were actually accepted to attend. However, about 21 percent of accepted students actually attended and were admitted to KSC.

Jessica Ricard can be contacted at jricard@kscequinox.com

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