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Lakehead University Increases First Choice High School Applicants: More students list Lakehead University as first choice on university applications

(January 22, 2010 – Thunder Bay, ON) Lakehead University has seen a 7.9% increase in the number of high school students who have listed Lakehead as their first university choice for the 2010-2011 academic year compared to last year at this time.  Additionally, overall applications from high school students to Lakehead are up 6.2%.  According to data recently released by the Ontario Universities Applications Centre (OUAC), universities across the province have comparatively lower average application increases of 2.7% and 2.1% respectively.

"Lakehead is Ontario’s smallest comprehensive university, and we offer a breadth of academic programs that provide a more personalized educational experience," says Dr. Fred Gilbert, President of Lakehead University.  “We are continually growing recognition of our name and reputation through successful branding and awareness campaigns, recruitment efforts, scholarship opportunities, and research activity.  I am not surprised at this increase in applications because Lakehead is a great choice – for first-year undergraduate students as well as mature, international, and graduate students. Lakehead truly is Canada’s number one value-added university.”
 
Robert Perrier, Manager of Undergraduate Recruitment, notes various recruitment-based initiatives that have further attracted incoming students to Lakehead University this academic year.  Lakehead has expanded its outreach efforts to incorporate a more aggressive approach across Ontario, as well as a wider geographic span that includes high schools in Western Canada.  Prospective students have also learned more about Lakehead through the institution’s recent branding campaign which included a social media component, as seen on Facebook and other web-based media.  Additionally, various campus events geared to senior high school students, recently revamped to include more flexible schedules and improved, hands-on activities, have drawn a record number of attendees from Thunder Bay and Southern Ontario.  Lakehead also ramped up its visibility at the 2009 Ontario Universities’ Fair by greeting potential students and answering their questions at a new, visually attractive information booth that was well received by students and parents attending the Fair.  “There are more students coming into the university system than ever, but this is also a time of greater competition among universities across the province and the country,” Perrier explains.  “A number of smaller and medium-sized universities are receiving better returns because students are realizing that a more personal university experience is right for them, and Lakehead continues to be a prime contender on that list. Bigger is not necessarily better anymore – students want a quality education and a quality of life that Lakehead has been recognized as providing for years.”

Lakehead University was one of the first universities to offer a Free Tuition Scholarship to students applying directly from Canadian high schools with an average of 95% or more.  The first recipients of the top scholarship entered Lakehead last fall and quadrupled those students entering Lakehead with grade point averages of 95% or higher.  Amid ever-rising tuition costs, Lakehead continues to offer this incentive and other entrance scholarships to attract and retain the best and brightest students from Thunder Bay, Orillia, the rest of Ontario, and Canada. 

Lakehead is still accepting incoming applications.  Additional information can be found at www.mylakehead.ca.

Media
: Dr. Gilbert and Robert Perrier are available for media interview.  To arrange interview times, please contact Communications Officer Heather Scott at 807-343-8177 or commun@lakeheadu.ca; or Director of Communications Eleanor Abaya at 807-343-8372 or eabaya@lakeheadu.ca.

Last updated January 22, 2010

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