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The Pacific University Pacesetters Program has an average of a seven percent yearly increase in participating high school seniors from various areas since 2013.

This year, Pacific hosted a record 707 eligible students which may influence recent enrollment decrease in a positive direction.

With enrollment of freshmen students being down and tuition revenue taking a hit, the Pacesetters Program could be the fix to the decline in enrollment which has already made an impact on the university’s budget.

“The enrollment decrease is based on many factors and allowing the maximum participation in Pacesetters is a good way to expose more admitted students and their families to the great things about being a Boxer,” Karen Dunston, assistant vice president of enrollment management with undergraduate admissions.

The Pacesetters competition offers talented high school seniors the chance to take part in an exam for the chance to earn one of two full tuition scholarships.

While not every student can win a large scholarship, it is a great opportunity for students and their parents to see if Pacific is the right school for them and potentially secure $8,000 – $20,000 in scholarship funds to use over the course of four years.

But just by participating students earn $2000 per year in scholarship funds.

“The Pacesetters Scholarship Competition is a great way for future Boxers to earn additional scholarship and to see what campus is like,” Dunston said. “The draw for more participants is having enough days available for the maximum participation. This has always been the goal.”

Potential students who attend the Pacesetters event participate in one of three academic sessions focused in the arts and humanities, natural science, social science or business and education.

“At these sessions, professors shared info about the different areas of study that students could pursue at Pacific and they answered questions from students and families,” Dunston said.

Visiting high school students and their parents also have the ability to text questions to a College of Arts, Sciences and Business Education panel that is made up of current Pacific students from different academic focuses.

“We added this session two years ago because we wanted to strengthen the connection between current Pacific students and the prospective students,” Dunston said.  “This session is definitely the highlight of the day for the whole family.”

The Pacesetters Program has provided the chance for more students to become aware of Pacific and the academic possibilities that might be attractive to talented high school seniors and their families.

When many universities are competing for student enrollment, a program like Pacesetters has drawn in a good number of students from year to year.


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