The Augustana admissions office is seeing more applications now than it was at this time last year.

According to Nancy Davidson, vice president of enrollment, the admissions office has received more applications from the Omaha and Twin Cities areas, as well as O’Gorman and Lincoln High Schools in Sioux Falls.

“Although we are ahead from last year, there is no way to know for sure if these students will actually choose to enroll at Augustana next fall,” Davidson said. “We are happy to see that areas we have really focused on do have more students applying.”

Not only are more students applying to Augustana, but more have also taken the time to experience an individual visit of the campus.

“It is good to see an increase in these things,” Davidson said. “But there is no need to blow this out of proportion. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done between now and next fall.”

The admissions office is always thinking of new ways to get students interested in Augustana. Recently, the staff has added a new visit that emphasizes theater, music and art.

“We really want to try to change things,” Davidson said. “We believe one area of strength is performing majors. Therefore, the new visit we added provides students with tickets to a Midsummer Nights Dream, as well as a behind-the-scenes visit of the Augustana Theater.”

But the admissions office staff can only do so much and reach so many people. According to Davidson, this is where current Augustana students come in.

“Students really make the difference,” Davidson said. “We really encourage those of you who enjoy your experience at Augustana to tell your story to others. That is the best strategy I can think of.”

Some students, like senior Lindsey Schmidt, are more than happy to do just that.

“With the rigorous curriculum, small school atmosphere and professors that actually care about me, I have only good things to tell my friends from back home,” Schmidt said. “I love Augie.”

Others, like senior Alex Piche, believe it’s not just about sharing your story.

“Over the years I have been here I have encouraged many of my younger friends from high school to come and visit,” Piche said. “It isn’t just the school, the curriculum or the professors, it is really the other students here that make this place so special. Showcasing that would make high school graduates want to come here.”

Although application numbers are only slightly up from last year, Davidson is still happy with where the admissions office currently sits.

“I am always happier when we are ahead than behind,” said Davidson. “I am also really happy with the quality of applicants we do have. They would all make a great fit at Augustana.”