The University of Rhode Island has seen no change in the number of students committing and submitting deposits to become a Ram in the fall, according to the Office of the Provost.

Vice Provost for Enrollment Management Dean Libutti said despite the challenges that have arisen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, URI reached a record number of applications.

“We had over 25,000 applications for the University of Rhode Island, which is a new record,” Libutti said. “Right now, we have about 1,500 deposits, and that’s what we normally have this time of year.”

Prospective students have until May 1 to finalize their college decisions, and Libutti said a majority of them will wait until the last weeks of April to do so. He is pleased with the number of deposits that have been submitted so far and said that URI is “right on track” as of now.

“We have a great application pool, and the interest is as strong as we had hoped,” Libutti said. “We’re looking forward to more deposits being submitted in the next few weeks.”

Due to the pandemic, many colleges have had to delay sending their applicant decisions out, which is one reason why some students have waited so long to officially commit to a school, according to Libutti. 

According to Libutti, getting decisions out sooner has been a benefit to prospective students because it allows them to get to know the University well and weigh their options before making the important decision.

“Our admissions team did a great job of reviewing applications and getting decisions out early,” Libutti said. “They knew that this was a tough time for students and really made a commitment to releasing decisions as soon as possible.”

To simplify the decision process for prospective students, the admissions team has held multiple virtual and in-person events for those interested in URI, from mock classes to tours to sessions with transfer students, according to Libutti.

One aspect of the admissions process that Libutti is especially proud of is the newly installed “Rhode to Becoming a Ram” orientation website. The website features everything future Rams need to know before their first semester at URI, including the fight song, Rhody lingo, academic information and financial advisors.

Kristina Perrelli, director of new student programs, said that Director of Campus Visit Experience Erin Earle, Assistant Director of New Student Programs Richard Song and herself came up with the idea for this new program in December.

“We came together and decided that we needed a different model to adapt to the times we’re living in,” Perrelli said. “Rhode to Becoming a Ram is what came out of the collaboration.”

Perrelli said that the feedback from this program has been great. Many prospective students have attended the events, been in contact with advisors and participated in activities on the website.

The website also features personalized “Rhode Trips,” a quiz that asks students about what excites them about college. The results give students their personal “Rhode Trip,” including academics, social life, support systems and parts of the Rhode Island area they would be most interested in.

Once students submit a deposit, they are able to visit the University and meet with orientation leaders. During this time, students are split into breakout rooms to speak with other students in the same major as them or from the same state as them, according to Perrelli.

“We do this so that students are able to meet other students with things in common,” Perrelli said. “We’re hoping that it will make the roommate process a bit easier, as well as make it easier for students to find friends.”

Perrelli hopes that this new mode of getting information to students will be helpful in their decision process.