The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Forrest Stuart named permanent VP of enrollment management

Forrest Stuart previously worked in financial aid before taking on his role in enrollment management. (Photo courtesy of Lafayette College)

On Feb. 27, Interim Vice President for Enrollment Management Forrest Stuart was announced to be the permanent leader of the division.

“I gladly accepted,” Stuart wrote. “It was a great opportunity … to assist Lafayette in a very specific way.”

With over thirty years of experience in admissions and financial aid, Stuart was invited by President Nicole Hurd to take on an interim position before settling into a permanent one, though he never intended to take on a vice president position when he joined the college in 2019. 

“Over the past year, I realized how much I love this work at Lafayette,” Stuart wrote in an email. “It is an honor to lead and to support [the admission and financial aid teams] in what can be very stressful and strenuous work.”

Stuart said he enjoys working with faculty to better understand the classroom experience for incoming students.

“Enrollment Management is much more than just admission and aid,” Stuart continued. “It impacts the entire student life cycle and involves the entire campus, not just that of Enrollment Management. As one scholar phrased it, enrollment management is ‘cradle to endowment.’”

Stuart said that he takes a four-year approach to determine which candidates will join Lafayette’s class of 2027 and the years ahead. 

“We want to enroll students who will graduate,” Stuart wrote. “We want to craft a class of first-year students who will thrive in an intellectually-demanding institution and are not afraid of very hard work. We also want students who are excited about what we do outside the classroom.”

Lafayette claims to meet 100 percent of demonstrated financial need, and many prospective students hope to take advantage of what the college has to offer.

“Unless one has worked at a college or a university that is not as selective and struggles to ‘make the class,’ one cannot understand how fortunate Lafayette is,” Stuart wrote. “Working intimately with the admission leadership ever since I have been here has provided the insight I need to both honor what has been done in the past and to help the College to adapt its enrollment strategies that sustain us for many years.”

Stuart outlined multiple goals that he has for recruiting the class of 2027 and beyond. 

First, I want to be an educator for all about what enrollment management actually is and how each person contributes to Lafayette’s meeting our enrollment goals,” Stuart wrote. “I want to challenge and mentor our admission and financial aid professionals for advancement in their careers.”

More specifically, Stuart has aspirations to admit more students who are eligible for Pell Grants. Currently, a low percentage of students at the college receive this grant, which is for students who display exceptional financial need.

“We set a goal of enrolling a first-year class that has at least 12.5% of its members that are eligible for Federal Pell Grants,” Stuart wrote. “This is a shared vision and one we take seriously.”

The college also aims to continue to increase diversity and enrich the student population with people who have different experiences.

“We strive to enroll students from all parts of the country, geographically speaking, and have excellent representation from all backgrounds (racial and ethnic, socioeconomic, thought, and belief, etc.),” Stuart wrote. 

“The students whom Lafayette attracts have so many choices — other schools want the same students,” Stuart continued. “We face competition from other colleges and universities who also want to provide an increase in access and social mobility. [Enrollment] is a difficult task because we also know we have to balance other priorities as well, especially not over-or-under enrolling the first-year class.”

Stuart expressed his gratitude for the position and said that he looks forward to working with the college in the years to come. 

“I am thankful and humbled to continue at Lafayette in the role of vice president for enrollment management,” Stuart wrote. “I cannot do this alone, and I invite others to join me in the work.”

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Jenny Davis, Staff News Writer

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