ETSU experienced a 17 percent increase over the previous year in the number of applications received from incoming freshman for the fall 2015 semester.

“We are experiencing a significant increase in the number of freshmen applications this year,” said Brian Henley, director of admissions. “By the end of the application cycle we will likely have received a record number of freshman applications.”

According to those in admissions, the increase can largely be traced to the university’s attempts to increase communication with students and encourage them to apply for admission.

“We created a new communication strategy which incorporates an e-mail and paper mail campaign to encourage students to apply for admission,” said Henley.

“We’ve also created a new application for admission which is accessible on mobile devices and is more intuitive than our standard online application.”

All of the new applications were sent to a select population of prospective students the university wanted to recruit.

Henley believes the additional communication has encouraged more students to attend ETSU; however, he warned new methods can make predictions imprecise, he said.

“We have to remember that anytime we engage in new marketing and communication techniques that are intended to increase applications it makes predicting the actual enrollment more difficult,” Henley said. “It remains to be seen how many of the additional students who have applied will ultimately enroll.”

New ETSU initiatives may be responsible for part of the increase.

“It’s difficult to project how applications for next fall will increase or decrease,” Henley said. “However, we intend to continue with the level of communication with prospective students this year, and we certainly hope that will continue to have the kind of results we are experiencing this year.”