Wilmington College has become a “Top Choice College” for Clinton County high school graduates and college transfer students.
You’ll recall, in a previous column, I mentioned we believe WC is hosting the largest number of Clinton County students — at least in modern history — in part as a result of the successful Clinton County Succeeds program.
All those students from Wilmington and Clinton County helped fuel the fall 2018 record enrollment for an entering class. Data received in January indicates the College is on pace to exceed that all-time number with freshmen and transfer students enrolling for fall 2019.
Many of those are taking advantage of Clinton County Succeeds, which is a loan-to-grant offer of $10,000 over four years for qualifying local students. That $10,000 is forgiven upon graduation from WC.
Many local students, along with those from neighboring counties, are finding themselves in a win-win situation. They are enjoying the advantages of living in our residence halls while being close enough to home to enjoy the benefits that their proximity to WC has to offer.
Consider some of these advantages local students have over their peers coming from much further away. Mom’s home-cooked meals are accessible much more frequently than Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks, and home is a short distance away if local students aren’t feeling well or just wish to visit for awhile.
Also, the possibility of homesickness is less of a factor and moving into the residence hall is easy, as it can be done incrementally over the first weeks rather than fighting the crowds on move-in day.
Also, local students are already familiar with the area around the College and can share that knowledge of favorite places with new friends.
They might not only be interested in local restaurants, movie theatres and the area’s unique novelty and retail shops, but also would enjoy attending some signature Clinton County activities as the Corn Festival, Banana Split Festival, Jeep Jam, Blanchester’s Fourth of July celebration, Third Fridays, Farmers’ Markets, the Clinton County Fair and events at the Murphy Theatre and our local high schools.
All these activities are a short distance from students’ homes and their College, so transportation costs would be minimal. In addition to maintaining close bonds with family members by virtue of attending WC, local students may find it easy to continue friendships and close relationships with those peers with whom they grew up and enjoyed high school — while also introducing them to newly made friends at Wilmington College.
Finally, local students can take pride in the role Wilmington College plays in anticipating the needs of area employers by having and creating in-demand degree programs that ultimately enhance the quality of life in the community.
WC serves as a major driver of the local economy and is a stimulus for economic growth as graduates permeate the area’s industry, professions, health facilities, cultural opportunities and community programs.
Until next month, as we say at Wilmington College, “Go Quakers!”
Dennis M. Kelly is senior vice president for enrollment management at Wilmington College.