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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Burbank

Woodbury Posts 12% Enrollment Increase

October 07, 2000|ZANTO PEABODY

Woodbury University posted a 12% increase in enrollment over last year and a 28% hike over three years, largely because of a marketing and personal recruiting campaign aimed at giving the business and architecture school a hip image, officials said.

The campaign has pushed enrollment at the 113-year-old university to 1,342 students, the highest since it moved to Burbank in 1987, said President Kenneth Nielsen.

In a "Gap-ad" style brochure mailed to high school students, the Burbank university boasts of a library where the book most often checked out is "1000 Tattoos;" an architectural studio where students nonchalantly sleep on the floor, and a hangout where the bagels taste like New York's finest.

Each page in the brochure reveals a new scene--lovers by a swimming pool, a surfer at a bus stop, roller hockey players knotted in a struggle for the puck. Essential information on the school, such as the $17,000 tuition, is relegated mostly to the inside of the back cover of the 10-page pamphlet.

To go along with the mailout, the school has been more aggressive and personal in recruiting local students, initiating contact with them as early as their freshman year in high school, said Mauro Diaz, a senior admissions counselor.

The result is a student body profile in which no ethnic group can claim a majority, Diaz said.

Daniel Modlin, a senior at Burroughs High School in Burbank who recently visited the campus after having talked with Diaz for more than two years, said the school's personal approach may convince him to attend.

"When I was on [a campus] tour, the tour guide knew everybody we passed on campus, and everybody knew her," Modlin said. "I guess that's something that comes along with a small school."

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