Poll of Elon students shows the university to be the “perfect size” for most undergraduates

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Elon University’s Lindner Hall. Photo by Connor Cavanaugh

By Connor Cavanaugh

All students at Elon University made the choice to attend a private institution with an undergraduate enrollment around 5,000. Because of this, a large majority of Elon students say that the university’s current enrollment size is just right.

“Elon was the smallest school I applied to, and I am glad I chose to go here because it’s the perfect size for me,” said Elon sophomore Myles Muchineuta.

The Elon Commitment, a university plan, dictates “slow growth” for the undergraduate population. After reaching 4,000 students in the year 2000, Elon has grown to approximately 5,600 students for the 2013-2014 academic year. This correlates to a growth of around 200 students a year, certainly within the realm of “slow growth.”

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Elon’s academic pavilion, where some of the polling was done. Photo by Connor Cavanaugh

In a poll of 200 students, 148 responded saying Elon’s student body size is “just right,” with 38 responding “too small,” and 14 responding “too large.” Of the 200 respondents, 64% said the perfect size for a private university devoted to engaged learning like Elon is either 5,000 or 6,000 students.

“Elon is the perfect size because I feel like I can walk around campus and see at least a couple people I know,” said junior Scott Maxham. “My class sizes are all relatively small, and if Elon was any bigger, that might change.”

As Elon continues to construct new buildings and add more students to the undergraduate population, the risk is run of making the institution larger than students are comfortable with.

According to the data collected in the poll, the statistical mean for the “perfect size” for Elon is 5,925 students, about 300 more than are currently enrolled. At the current rate, Elon will surpass that number in the next two or three academic years.

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