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PAGE 2, CAMPUS CARRIER news September 2, 2010

Retention continues upward trend

Haley Van Stein
Staff Writer
Yearly Retention Rate
Berry’s retention rate of students has increased accord-
ing to data comparing the classes of 2012 and 2013. 79%
The Office of Institutional Research generated the stu-
dent retention percentage of the past year and came up
with some positive results. In 2008, Berry had an incoming 78%
freshmen class of 448 students, and 74 percent of the stu-
dents from the 2007 school year decided to return to Berry.
In 2009, Berry had an incoming freshmen class of 569. This
semester, Berry retained 78 percent of the class of 2013, pro- 77%
viding Berry with a 4 percent increase in its retention rate.
Andrew Bressette, Dean of Academic Services, attri-
butes this achievement to several factors. Bressette said 76%
the Financial Aid office has been a key player in helping
students to return to Berry, as many families are struggling

with tuition costs in today’s economy. He said the office has
worked hard to ensure that every student gets the financial
aid they need to continue at Berry.
Another dynamic, Bressette said, is the small class sizes
and the personal attention that each student receives, 74%
allowing them to be more successful, especially in more
rigorous classes.
Sophomore Christopher Keene experienced some finan-
cial strain this year but he said this did not deter him from 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
finding a way to return and he still intends to finish out his
four years with Berry. largest campus in the world, but one of the most vibrant uses 11 objective factors that fall into five different catego-
“I love the closeness of community you feel at Berry and and thriving student populations as well. ries that range from student satisfaction to postgraduate
all the opportunities available to meet people and make According to the Forbes list, Berry College is ranked success. The Forbes list acknowledges that “…appearing
lasting connections. I was very excited to come back,” number 163 of the 610 schools that made the list. on [its] list at all is an indication that a school meets a high
Keene said. The Forbes list is a ranking of the best colleges in the standard.” Berry’s student retention rate rose significantly
With such encouraging statistics and feedback, Berry nation, “ranking only nine percent of the 6,600 accredited in the past year.
looks as if it could very soon not only boast of having the post-secondary institution in the United States.” The list

Firsthand Campaign Wins National Gold Medal in CASE Circle of Excellence Competition
From Staff Reports their classroom education through a paid in 2009.
position on campus. “We have seen the message resonate
Berry College has earned a national “The ‘Firsthand’ brand is a consistent with prospective students and parents,”
award from the Council for Advancement and effective part of the language we use to Kennedy stated. “As director of admis-
and Support of Education (CASE) for recruit students,” explained Brett Kennedy, sions, nothing makes me feel better than to
director of admissions. “The challenge to see the ‘Firsthand’ message as the closing
“Experience it Firsthand,” a creative mar-
keting campaign developed in collabora- ‘Experience it Firsthand’ captures in a sim- words of an essay explaining why a partic- Firs
tion with the Blue Sky Agency of Atlanta. ple and accessible way those core elements ular student wishes to attend Berry.”
The initiative, launched in fall 2008, cap-
tured a gold award in the 2010 CASE Circle
that are distinctive about the Berry College
student experience.”
Although she is extremely pleased by
the positive recognition “Firsthand” has nd
of Excellence Contest, topping 11 other The focus of the ongoing campaign was generated for the institution, Mathews is
entries in the Institution-Wide Branding identified through intensive research con- quick to share the credit with others on
Programs category. ducted by Simpson Scarborough, a team the Berry campus and beyond who played
“We were extremely pleased to learn of nationally recognized marketing strate- a critical role in bringing the brand to life.
of this recognition,” said Jeanne Mathews, gists. Armed with the results of that study, “This has been a collaborative process since
assistant vice president for public relations the Blue Sky Agency crafted a new tagline the beginning,” Mathews said.
and marketing. “It affirms our belief that that captured the essence of a Berry educa- “From the initial research – which alumni and donors, raise funds for campus
the ‘Firsthand’ campaign has been success- tion in three short words, “Experience it focused on students, faculty, staff and projects, produce recruitment materials,
ful in bringing the Berry story to life for a Firsthand.” alumni, among other constituents – to the market their institutions to prospective stu-
21st century audience. Once the tagline was approved, Blue creative implementation, we have con- dents, diversify the profession and foster
“Firsthand” places particular emphasis Sky’s creative team collaborated with Ber- stantly sought input from other voices public support of education. The organiza-
on the hands-on nature of Berry’s nation- ry’s Public Relations and Marketing Office in the Berry community. An incredible tion serves more than 61,500 advancement
ally recognized educational experience. It to bring the brand to life through printed group of diverse and insightful individu- professionals on the staffs of member insti-
encompasses everything from the amaz- publications, electronic and Web based als helped to shape the message, and I am tutions and has nearly 22,000 professional
ing opportunities for outdoor recreation communications, outdoor advertising and pleased to see Berry reaping the rewards of members.
available on the world’s largest college other outlets. such collaboration.”
campus to the personal interest faculty and Because the work program is such Founded in 1974, CASE is a professional
staff members take in the success of every a powerful differentiator for Berry, the association serving educational institutions
student. The “Firsthand” philosophy of “Firsthand” message has been especially and the advancement professionals who
education is most evident in Berry’s Work effective when directed toward prospective work on their behalf in alumni relations, Cabin Log
Experience Program, which guarantees students. Despite the challenges posed by communications, development, market-
students the opportunity to complement a struggling economy, Berry welcomed one ing and allied areas. CASE helps its mem- 2010 Yearbooks will
of the largest first-year classes in its history bers build stronger relationships with their
be ready for
distribution next week
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