Applications are up at William Peace University as it looks to enroll men for the first time, the school said Thursday.
A spokeswoman for the university said Peace had received 1,150 applications for the fall semester – about 12 percent higher than this time in 2011.
Of those applicants, the university as accepted 589 students.
About 30 percent of those applying were men.
The issue has been a huge one at Peace, which decided to become co-ed to hike sagging enrollment.
President Debra Townsley supported the change, which was approved by the school's board, but many alumnae were upset with the decision.
"The Peace College experience is very special. Nothing against men, but we feel like the all-women's experience has many good aspects to it and we just didn't want that to change,” said Sandy Coulson, a 1987 graduate of Peace College.
According to U.S. News & World Report, Peace charges $25,000 for tuition and fees and accepts 64 percent of students who apply. The school was not ranked among the top 187 liberal arts colleges in the United States by U.S. News & World Report last fall. Meredith, by comparison, was ranked No. 180.
As a means to further increase enrollment Townsley said the school would drop tuition $2,000, down to $23,700 for the 2012-13 academic year.
The school is hoping to make up for the costs by enrolling more students. William Peace hopes to add 1,000 students in the coming years, which would double the size of the student body.
"What we are looking at is increasing enrollment. That's where we are focused," Townsley said.
Some students raised concerns about how increasing enrollment would affect class sizes, which are small at Peace.
Townsley said the school would add staff and facilities as needed.
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