Dear Antiochians and friends,
The announcement of the Horace Mann Fellowship awards has sparked amplified interest in Antioch College. Starting with a story on CBS Money Watch, the report of our full-tuition scholarships was carried in many places, including Yahoo!, The Huffington Post, and in blogs, newspapers and TV programs throughout the country and around the world.
On Friday, our website had 52,466 unique visitors and 142,354 page views. Eighty-eight percent were new visitors. Most folks found us through Google. Yahoo, Bing, CBS and Facebook were also in the top 10 sources of traffic. Our homepage experienced most of the traffic, with 79,000 page views. Academics, Areas of Study, About, Admission, and Employment (in that order) were the next most visited pages. To give you a comparison, the average number of daily viewers over the past three years was about 500. Wow! Since the influx of traffic crashed our site Friday afternoon, we have been utilizing the College Facebook page to engage with prospective students and parents. We gained more than 1,000 "likes" and nearly 2,000 applications over the weekend.
Many on staff have been working nearly full-time since Friday afternoon planning and coping with this whirlwind of activity. There is certainly much work in the weeks ahead, but we have to be thankful for our blessings and not see clouds where there is abundant sun. This "happy crisis" reinforces a reality that we sometimes forget: It is a blessing to be here, to be part of this opportunity to re-create one of America's great colleges. It's tough work, true, but the thousands who have already submitted applications are a great reminder that the work we are doing is important and that others want to join us in bringing to life our vision of new and better ways of living.
As we move through our time in the spotlight, it is important to remember that Horace Mann Fellowships are competitive awards reserved for the grittiest, most capable students. We're not, as some will say, offering a "cheap" education. Our admission criteria remain the same. Our recruitment target remains the same. What the increased interest does for us is provides a greater pool from which to select those 75 students who have the best opportunity for success, regardless of their economic circumstances.
I have worked in organizations that receive this kind of lightning bolt jolt. How we respond will be important. This is a blessing. Let us see it as that, ride the wave, but do so with creative thinking that maximizes the benefit to the College as we move forward.
WANT TO HELP?
While we work to bring the website back online, various offices may continue to receive phone calls and emails. Please direct inquiries to check our list of FAQs on our Facebook page:
www.facebook.com/antiochcollege. Specific questions can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you're interested in helping the Office of Admission manage this overwhelming response, please e-mail Maggie Rusnak, email@example.com, with your availability.