As Lafayette continues to evolve with a series of administrative changes, Interim Vice President for Enrollment Management Forrest M. Stuart announced earlier this month the new leadership structure for the enrollment management division. This team will oversee financial aid, admissions and enrollment at the college.
Kathleen Williams, who has been with Lafayette since 2018 after 25 years of practicing law, has been named Interim Dean of Admissions.
Williams will serve as an overseer of the general admissions process to ensure that the college’s values are reflected in admissions decisions. She is currently out of state, recruiting the next class of Leopards, and could not be reached for comment.
Shelby Maguire, who has 11 years of experience in the field and has established the financial wellness program, LaFinancial, was named interim director of financial aid.
“I have seen how stressful discussions concerning finances can be,” she wrote in an email. “I want to be able to provide students with the necessary tools and confidence to ask questions as they relate to financial wellness and financial aid.”
Last year, the college implemented two initiatives to make Lafayette more accessible to lower-income students. The first initiative eliminated the CSS Profile requirement for students who attended high schools where 75 percent or more of students qualified for free or reduced lunch, or who themselves received free or reduced lunch. The second initiative will be implemented this year.
“The Office of Financial Aid is working with the college board to pilot a ‘lighter’ profile option for domestic families, who make less than $100k, do not file a schedule 1 and do not have a negative adjusted gross income,” Maguire wrote .
Schedule one refers to a portion of the federal income tax return that one fills out to report earnings on things like capital gains, alimony and gambling winnings.
“The families and students are the key to me loving my position and chosen career path,” Maguire wrote. “It is an honor to be able to work so closely with the campus population.”
Stuart, who joined Lafayette in 2019 in the financial aid department and who will now be directing enrollment, noted the importance of admissions leadership as students and staff alike see a shift into a more normalized phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Although we did very well in a virtual environment, Lafayette shines best when physically in front of students, parents/guardians, and college counselors,” Stuart wrote in an email. “Whether that be in high schools, at college fairs, or in small groups that meet for coffee.”
Lafayette’s class of 2026 surpassed enrollment expectations, leaving students wondering what will be done to prevent this from happening again next year.
“Combating over-enrollment is not straightforward,” Stuart wrote. “We have to utilize historical data to inform decisions about how many students to admit, but external conditions can result in college-selection behavior that vastly differs each year.”
As unpredictable as admissions data can be, over-enrollment leads to larger class sizes, housing adjustments and additional consequences.
“We do need to look at strategies such as adjusting the admit rate to better manage any risk of over-or-under-enrollment,” Stuart wrote. “Lafayette has high demand, and that bodes very well for every student and graduate.”
The enrollment management division’s leadership team will be put to the test this year as they work to balance enrollment and admit the best students possible.
“The art and science of enrollment management in a higher education setting [is] what I enjoy the most,” Stuart wrote. “We want to recruit graduates, not just first-year students.”