Record-breaking Freshman Enrollment
by The Milton Measure on Friday, September 16th, 2011
Coming back from summer break, many students have noticed a significant change in the Milton environment. Though the hallways have not gotten any narrower, they are much more crowded, thanks to the approximately 20% increase in the size of the freshmen class.
Many students wonder whether or not this increase was planned, or if it was the result of a higher yield from accepted students as the school claims. The key question this change raises, however, is whether Milton will benefit or not.
Though the larger class size will be a small inconvenience for everyone at the school, more freshmen will also benefit the community.
Yes, the hallways will become more crowded, but additional students will bring with them unique ways of thinking and diverse backgrounds. More students means more players on our sports fields, more actors in our plays, more voices cheering on from the sidelines, and more opinions expressed during classroom discussions.
In addition, the cost of adding these new students to the school is small, while the additional income from their tuition is large. This additional money could be used to improve the overall learning experience for all students.
For the Class of 2015, however, these benefits will be small in comparison to the detriments such a large class size will bring. More students will lead to larger class sizes with a lower teacher-to-student ratio. Countless studies have been conducted supporting the theory that smaller class size greatly improves students’ education. The only way to ensure that each individual student receives as much attention as those in years past would be to add more sections to each course.
This in turn would force the school to either ask teachers to take on more classes, or to hire more teachers. This competition for attention will snowball throughout the class of 2015’s four years at Milton. Students will need to compete even more for leadership positions; academic, athletic, and artistic awards; and even for spots at the top colleges.
The increased freshman class size may benefit the school as a whole; however, the freshman class itself will be burdened by its large size for the next four years.
If the school decides to continue admitting freshmen classes of this size, the problems will only multiply, greatly outweighing the benefits. Milton’s small class sizes create an environment where students and teachers can cultivate close relationships. We cannot risk losing this distinguishing characteristic of Milton, even if it means admitting fewer students.
Short URL: http://miltonmeasure.org/?p=1456