Transylvania University met crucial enrollment goals for the fall semester but is replacing its top two admissions administrators, school officials said Thursday.
Applications increased to 1,919, up almost 500 from last fall, and admittances jumped to 1,402, up from 1,186 last year. Of those, 312 students accepted and are expected to attend, a 15 percent increase from last year's 270 acceptances.
"We're excited because we've seen an uptick in everything," university spokeswoman Michele Sparks said.
Despite the good news, admissions dean Brad Goan and associate dean Kim Schroeder will be leaving the private liberal arts school.
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"We are in the process of restructuring in admissions," Sparks said. "The president has a certain direction he wants to go in."
Goan did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.
Transy's total enrollment is now at 1,100 students.
The high for new enrollments was in 2012, when 350 freshman arrived at the downtown Lexington campus. By 2014, that number had fallen to 273 enrollees amid conflict surrounding then-President Owen Williams, who received a no-confidence vote from the faculty. He left in 2013 and was replaced by Seamus Carey.
"As a private institution, tuition is a huge revenue driver for us," Sparks said. "Plus we want a fuller campus for collegiality."
Despite the increase in enrollment, the average ACT score stayed the same, so the academic quality of incoming students will remain high, Sparks said.
Next year, applicants can decide whether to include their test scores in applications to Transy. Those who choose not to provide test scores can instead provide more detailed information about their academic careers in high school.
"Some students don't test well, so a lot of schools are moving in this direction," Sparks said. "At other institutions, the data and research show that has helped applications go up. We hope that students won't be intimidated to apply to Transy."
As a private school, Transy does not share financial information, but Marc Mathews, vice president for finance and business, said the enrollment news is good for the school's stability.
Tuition provides between 65 and 70 percent of the school's revenue.
"So meeting those enrollment goals allows us to support current faculty to staff ratio the university has," Mathews said. "Also, it's important to campus life. You don't want to be too small."
Transy is financially strong because of assets built up over time, Mathews said, "but the swings in the number of students affects a one-year operating cycle."
Outside of tuition, small liberal arts colleges don't have many money-making operations, such as research or university hospitals.
Transy is building three new dorms to meet student demands for better and more housing. One new dorm is expected to open this fall, and two others are expected to open in fall 2016.
The city of Lexington agreed to issue $14.5 million in tax-free bonds to pay for the dorms. Transy is responsible for the debt.
Transy also faces other administrative changes. Barbara LoMonaco, vice president of student affairs and dean of students, announced that she is leaving to take a job in Rhode Island, Sparks said. Meanwhile, President Carey has hired Laura Bryan as the dean of the college and vice president of academic affairs. She replaces Michael Bell, who filled that role in an interim position.
Most recently, Bryan was dean of the University of Baltimore's college of arts and sciences. Previously, she worked at the University of Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky University.