SALEM, Va.- More and more students are trying to get into Roanoke College. Applications have increased 2.2 percent from last year and more than 35 percent since 1997. In fact, this is the seventh consecutive year-and the ninth time in the past decade-Roanoke has seen a record number of freshman applications. The college is anticipating that the new freshman class will number approximately 540 students, which would be the largest freshman class in Roanoke's history.

College administrators attribute the increase to a combination of factors that include outstanding academic programs, dedicated faculty and staff, and the growing reputation of Roanoke College.

"Seven consecutive annual records mark more than a trend," Michael C. Maxey, vice president of college relations, said. "Roanoke College is on a new plateau in higher education."

To date, Roanoke has received more than 3,200 applications for openings in the freshman class for fall 2007. Just over 70 percent of applicants will be accepted to Roanoke. Students who have been accepted for admission were invited to attend an open house last week to help them in the decision-making process. At the open house, which is the largest prospective student event on campus, students had the option of attending a class taught by a Roanoke professor and to tour the residence halls and note their top choice.

"Setting a new record in student applications is a wonderful accomplishment for Roanoke College and a credit to our dedicated admissions staff," Dr. Sabine O'Hara, president of Roanoke College, said. "It is clear evidence that Roanoke College is gaining in reputation and national stature and that bodes well for the college's future."

"We have learned that prospective college students want to be a part of a strong learning community," James Pennix, director of admissions, said. "Roanoke College's continued success in admissions solidifies our value in the marketplace of prospective college students."

Roanoke College, the country's second oldest Lutheran-related college, is an independent, co-educational, four-year liberal arts college. Roanoke is one of just 270 colleges nationwide with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious honor societies. Roanoke College is listed in U.S. News & World Report's Best Colleges Guide as a national liberal arts college. The Princeton Review names Roanoke as one of the "best in the mid-Atlantic." Roanoke's 1,900 students represent 41 states across the U.S. and 25 foreign countries. Roanoke College offers three degrees: bachelor of business administration, bachelor of arts and bachelor of science.

For additional information, call the Roanoke College Public Relations Office at (540) 375-2282.