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The St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) Class of 2023 consists of one lone student.
Since 2014, SMCM has been below the undergraduate student headcount goal according to the Office of Institutional Research. Despite boasting 1,800 students on online profiles, the College actually enrolls about 1,500 people.
Members of the administration have accredited this downturn to an admissions crisis. While the admissions numbers had been steadily declining, they took a sharp downturn for the class of 2023, enrolling just one student for the incoming freshman class.
“When I got my acceptance letter, I nearly threw it out,” Malik Johnson told The Point News. “I applied as a backup in case I messed up my application to Howard County Community College [HCCC].”
But after Johnson realized that he forgot to put his name on the application to HCCC, he fished out his SMCM letter from the trash and reluctantly settled on attending his safety school, SMCM. “I really screwed that one up,” the incoming first-year said.
Nevertheless, Johnson was surprised when he came to the accepted student day event and was personally met by the entire administration of SMCM. “We just wanted Mr. Johnson to feel welcomed,” the provost said.
“I was freaked out. I was like, ‘am I the only person here?’” Johnson recalled. He was, in fact, the only person there. The administrators “told me I should be ‘excited and honored,’ but don’t take that out of context, neither of those things is true,” he said.
Johnson will have his pick of the litter in terms of housing. “I plan to make Dorch[ester Hall] my castle,” he said. And he may well do that, as he will have the entire building to himself.
“I mean why not?” Derek Young, director of Residence Life replied in an email when Johnson told him of his plans to have the first floor of Dorch for his trash, second for his stuff, and third for a “mega-mega-mega-mega bed.”
The Admissions Office has had some of their plans to ensure these abysmal numbers are not repeated next year leaked. Admissions Student Coordinator and Hat Guy Nick Miner told The Point News, “we might just give away free tuition.”