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Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Record-Number of Students Apply for Admission to Lincoln University; 4,040 Applications Represent a 26% Hike from Fall 2001 Increase in Students' Applications is "Major Indicator" of Lincoln's Resurgence, University President Ivory V. Nelson Says.

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY, PA -- Lincoln University has received a record 4,040 applications from students seeking admission to America's first Historically Black University for the fall 2002-2003 academic year. It is the first time in the 149-year history of the University that Lincoln has received more than 4,000 student applications. The number of new student applicants represents a 26 percent increase, or 825 more applications over last year's figures.

"Lincoln University is very pleased that increasing numbers of students are considering the University as their institution of choice to receive an undergraduate education," said President Ivory V. Nelson, Ph.D.

President Nelson added: "The tremendous increase in student applications is a major indicator of the resurgence in Lincoln's national reputation for academic excellence and return to prominence. Students want to come to Lincoln because we are true to our historic mission: Lincoln University prepares learners and produces leaders to shape the world. The University is committed to providing students with excellent professors and the most stimulating of intellectual opportunities. Excellence flows from a commitment to doing things better. This is the heritage of Lincoln University."

Lincoln is nationally recognized for being a major producer of African Americans with undergraduate degrees in the physical sciences (biology, chemistry, and physics); computer and information sciences; and biological and life sciences. These national distinctions are continuations of the Lincoln tradition of educating an impressive list of African Americans who have distinguished themselves as doctors, lawyers, educators, businesspersons, theologians, and heads of state.

Also, in what is considered an unprecedented distinction among all of the nation's colleges and universities, two of Lincoln University's alumni have been honored for their distinguished lifetime achievements with commemorative stamps by the U.S. Post Office. Last February, the Postal Service issued a commemorative, first-class stamp for 1929 Lincoln University alumnus Langston Hughes, a world-acclaimed poet. In January 2003, the postal service will release for sale a first-class stamp to honor U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, a 1930 Lincoln graduate. Justice Marshall, the first African American member of the nation's highest court, is being honored for having championed civil and equal rights, including developing the legal strategy to end segregation in America's schools.

Over the past three years, applications and enrollment have been on the rise at the University, according to Dr. William B. Bynum, Jr., Lincoln's vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. Fall enrollment figures for freshman and other first-year students will be finalized at the end of September. Classes started August 28.

Dr. Bynum notes that many of the nation's colleges and universities have seen increases in their applicant pool this year, but few can boast Lincoln's 26 percent jump. He chalks Lincoln's increase in applications to four significant factors: successful implementation of a strategic enrollment management plan, proactive student recruitment activities, targeted marketing of the University, and word-of-mouth endorsements by Lincoln students and alumni.

While increasing its number of applications, Lincoln, however, also maintained its selectivity by accepting only 48 percent of those who applied for enrollment to the campus which is located 45 miles southwest of Philadelphia in southern Chester County, Pennsylvania.

According to data contained in U.S. News and World Report's 2001 edition of "College Rankings," Lincoln's 48 percent acceptance rate is one of the lowest for masters' and comprehensive universities in the Northeast region. In addition to improving its acceptance rate, Lincoln also increased its overall student SAT and grade point averages. This year's SAT average among first-year entering (freshman and transfer) students is 890; that is 26 points above last year's average of 864. Lincoln's average is also 31 points above the national average score for African Americans. Lincoln also increased its high school grade point average for this year's first-year class to 2.88; the figure is .11 above last year's high school grade point average of 2.77 average.

Founded in 1854 as America's first Historically Black University, Lincoln University provides the best elements of a liberal arts and sciences-based undergraduate core curriculum and selected graduate programs to meet the needs of students living in a highly technological and global society. During the 2001-2002 academic year, Lincoln enrolled 1,871 undergraduate and graduate students.

From April 2003 through May 2004, the University will celebrate its sesquicentennial, or 150th anniversary, with an array of campus and external events, activities, and announcements. For more information about the University, visit Lincoln's Web site at

For more information, contact:
Samuel W. Pressley, Director
Howard G. Kelly, Jr. Assistant Director
Lincoln University's Office of Marketing & Communications,
610-932-1094; e-mail:; home: 856-582-9574;

Lincoln University of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
1570 Old Baltimore Pike, P.O. Box 179, Lincoln University, PA 19352 (484) 365-8000
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Producing Leaders to Shape A New Millennium