Rock Hill’s Winthrop University sees record number of freshman applicants

Winthrop University has received a record number of applications for the class of 2023.

The number of applications for the fall 2019 freshman class, 5,341 as of Jan. 1, is the highest the school has on record, said Eduardo Prieto, vice president for access and enrollment management.

That number surpasses the last high of 5,328 in fall 2006, according to Winthrop.

Prieto attributes the increase to the university’s consistent message and recruitment across the Carolinas.

“Folks are starting to realize Winthrop is a strong institution,” he said. “We’re very student centered. They’re a name and not a number here.”

Increasing enrollment is one area outlined in Winthrop President Dan Mahony’s strategic plan, which was launched in 2016 and sets goals for the university’s future through 2025.

“Two of the most important goals in the Winthrop Plan have been to build the reputation of the institution and to increase enrollment, and our efforts have been wide-ranging over the past few years,” Mahony said.

“With record interest from prospective students and families, we are confident that the appeal of the Winthrop experience has never been stronger. We are still almost eight months away from the start of the fall semester, and to break the record this early is very unusual and truly a significant accomplishment,” Mahony said.

In 2018, Winthrop launched a new logo and branding initiative. Mahony said the new logo brings a more cohesive look to the campus and university.

The first phase, which cost the university $20,000, included the launch of banners featuring the new logo across campus, Winthrop spokesperson Judy Longshaw said when the new look was unveiled.

Prieto said Winthrop’s environment along with the university’s academic offerings, such as undergraduate research and global study abroad programs, are part of what attracts new students.

“People recognize that Winthrop is on the ball, and is always looking for ways we can benefit our students,” he said.

Winthrop’s largest increases in freshman applicants have come from Rock Hill and York County, Charleston, Columbia, Greenville and Spartanburg, Prieto said. The college also has seen a slight increase in out-of-state applicants.

Applications for Winthrop’s fall 2019 semester are still being accepted. For merit scholarship consideration, applications are due by Feb. 1.

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Amanda Harris covers issues related to children and families in York, Chester and Lancaster County for The Herald. Amanda works with local schools, parents and community members to address important topics such as school security, mental health and the opioid epidemic. She graduated from Winthrop University.
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