First-year and Transfer Applications Surge - Christopher Newport University


A group of prospective students and their parents follow a tour guide across the great lawn.

First-year and Transfer Applications Surge

Result of broader outreach, more scholarships

Above: Families take a campus tour and visits are welcome anytime

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Christopher Newport is on pace to receive a record number of applications for the 2024-25 academic year, the result of new efforts to broaden its base of students.

Christopher Newport is expected to receive more than 7,500 first-time freshman applications for 1225 seats. Applications from students seeking to transfer to CNU from community colleges or other institutions are also up by nearly 30% over last year.

“It is exciting to see so many students, in Virginia and beyond, who want to be Captains,” said Dean of Admission Dr. Rob Lange. “We are working every day to broaden access, enhance affordability, and make meaningful connections so that more students can experience an education here that is anchored in excellence.”

Under the leadership of first-year President William Kelly, Christopher Newport has launched several proactive admission initiatives this year. The goal is to engage more out-of-state and international prospective students and those who will be first-generation college students and/or are from low-income families in Virginia.

Christopher Newport is becoming increasingly popular with out-of-state students. For the first time, Out-of-State Incentive Merit Scholarships are available to students who enroll in college for the first time for the 2024-25 academic year. The scholarships partially offset the higher cost of attendance for students who come from outside Virginia.

Another initiative offers direct admission to low-income and/or first-generation students from Virginia through the Common Application. What this means is that Christopher Newport will guarantee admission before a student has applied if they meet certain academic requirements. Students respond to the offers by completing the Common Application. Two similar processes for pre-application admission, and in some cases, scholarship offers to out-of-state and international students, are being implemented through the NICHE and EAB 360-Match higher education admissions technology platforms, respectively.

The University is also stepping up recruitment efforts at 17 high schools in nearby Hampton Roads communities that serve a high number of Pell-eligible students. Funded by a State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV) grant, Christopher Newport waives application fees, conducts on-site admission interviews, provides workshops on the college search and financial aid processes, and offers other programs in collaboration with high school counselors to help their students make a successful transition to college. Applications from these target schools are up nearly 30% compared to this time last year.

“We welcome every high school student, every community college student, every transfer student from Virginia and beyond - no matter their background and their means so that they may have an education anchored in excellence and founded on the values of leadership, scholarship, service, and honor,” Kelly said.

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