SMU adds Early Decision option to application process

Dallas Hall at Southern Methodist UniversityBeginning in Fall  2013, SMU will offer an Early Decision option in its application process. Early Decision is a binding application process used by recognized universities nationwide.

The new Early Decision process identifies students who consider the University as their first choice. Prime candidates for Early Decision include applicants who are prepared to make a contractual commitment to attend should the respective university offer them admission.

Early Decision will be available to the University’s Fall 2014 entering class. Students may apply to only one school through an Early Decision plan.

“As SMU rises in academic profile and selectivity, students are eager to demonstrate their commitment to attend,” said Dean of Undergraduate Admission Wes Waggoner. He also indicated that in recent years, a number of students have asked to have an Early Decision option available when applying to the University.

By allowing applicants to indicate a desire for a binding contract with their first choice college early in the application process, SMU can make admission decisions partially based on the high level of interest of the applicants. Early Decision applicants will receive notice that their decision has been released no later than Jan. 1 to allow appropriate time to apply elsewhere if necessary. The Early Decision application deadline is Nov. 1.

SMU will continue to offer an Early Action option, which will remain non-binding. Early Action provides students with a decision early in their senior year without requiring an immediate or binding decision from the applicant. The Early Action application deadline is also Nov. 1.

In addition to the Early Decision deadline of Nov. 1, SMU also will offer students a second-round binding application option known as Early Decision II. This allows students who identify SMU as their first choice later in the process to indicate their commitment to attend the University if offered admission.

While Early Decision is a well-known option for the most selective schools throughout the East and on the West Coast, it is lesser known in Texas. SMU joins Rice University in Houston, TCU in Fort Worth and Trinity University in San Antonio in offering this option to  applicants.

For more information, contact the  Office of Admission at 214-768-2058 or visit

> Find a FAQ on the Early Decision option
> Read more from SMU News

SMU names Wes K. Waggoner Dean of Undergraduate Admission

SMU Dean of Undergraduate Admission Wes K. WaggonerWes K. Waggoner, whose university admissions experience spans 20 years, is SMU’s new dean of undergraduate admission and executive director of enrollment services. Waggoner will begin his duties at SMU Oct. 17, 2011. He was chosen after a national search.

“Wes stood out for his experience with financial aid, marketing, search strategies and leadership ability,” said SMU Provost Paul Ludden. “He is passionate about taking SMU to the next level, and he has the intellectual and professional skills to help us reach our goals.”

Waggoner currently serves as the associate dean and director of freshman admission at TCU. Previously, he held admissions roles at the University of Tulsa, Tulane University, Fort Worth Country Day School and The Episcopal School of Baton Rouge. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Tulane University and an M.B.A. with a concentration in not-for-profit management from the University of Dallas.

At SMU, he will report to Stephanie Dupaul, associate vice president for enrollment management. Dupaul said Waggoner’s background and personality made him a good fit for SMU.

“I hoped we would find someone who would bring expertise, intelligence and creativity to SMU. Wes brings these strength, and more,” Dupaul said. “He has demonstrated his skills in developing comprehensive recruiting plans, redesigning processes, and mentoring a professional team of admissions professionals. He is passionate about SMU and excited about the path the university is on as we implement a new curriculum, develop our residential commons, and continue to expand our academic research. Wes will use his many strengths to tell the SMU story – a story 100 years in the making but also a story that is just beginning.”

Waggoner is a nationally known leader in the admission profession, having served as chair of the Professional Development Committee for the National Association of College Admission Counselors, chair of the Admissions Practices Committee for the Texas Association of College Admission Counselors (TACAC), instructor for the TACAC Summer Institute, chair of the Higher Education Curriculum committee for the Admission and College Counseling Institute, and as a member of The College Board‘s SAT Advisory Committee and the SAT Score Choice Task Force.

> Get the full story from SMU News

Stephanie Dupaul named SMU AVP for enrollment management

Stephanie DupaulStephanie Dupaul will become SMU’s associate vice president for Enrollment Management in the Office of the Provost on June 1, 2011. In this newly created position, she will provide strategy and leadership for the University’s ongoing commitment to increasing the number and quality of applicants for admission.

Dupaul has served as SMU’s interim dean of admissions since August 2010. She previously served as director of undergraduate admissions in SMU’s Cox School of Business, where she achieved dramatic improvement in the academic profile of students entering the Business Administration (B.B.A.) program. The University will now begin a search for a dean of admissions, who will report to Dupaul.

“Dr. Dupaul was the choice of the committee after a very strong field of candidates visited SMU following our national search,” said Paul Ludden, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “We are excited about the energy and enthusiasm that she brings to this position, along with her keen understanding of the national admissions landscape.”

“I am honored and excited to help contribute to the University’s growth, and grateful for the support of the faculty, staff, students and alumni,” Dupaul said. “SMU was at the forefront of the enrollment management movement when our Division of Enrollment Management was formed over a decade ago; this position will strengthen the connections in the division as we work together to support the University’s mission and goals.”

SMU’s director of financial aid, registrar, bursar and dean of admissions all will report to Dupaul in her new role. She will chair the Strategic Enrollment Management Group and will direct the University’s relationships with admissions-related consultants.

SMU is seeing dramatic growth in applications and a steady rise in the SAT scores of students who seek admission. Applications for SMU’s fall entering class increased by more than 30 percent for Fall 2011, and SAT scores have risen nearly 100 points in the last decade.

Dupaul served as Cox associate director for B.B.A. advising and student records from 1996-2002. Before joining SMU, she was associate director of M.B.A. admissions at the University of Dallas and academic adviser for Brookhaven College. Dupaul holds an Ed.D. degree in higher education administration and leadership from the University of Alabama, a master’s degree in English from SMU and a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin.

Four professors honored at Spring 2011 General Faculty Meeting

SMU Provost Paul Ludden opened the 2011 Spring Faculty Meeting by presenting awards to four outstanding faculty members.

Assistant Professor of Art History Amy Buono and Assistant Professor of Sociology Sheri Kunovich received 2009-10 Golden Mustang Faculty Awards. The Golden Mustang honors junior faculty members who sustain high achievement as both teachers and scholars.

The 2009-10 President’s Associates Outstanding Faculty Awards were presented to Associate Professor of Philosophy Robert Howell and Associate Professor of Art History Pamela Patton. The awards honor tenured faculty who have sustained high achievement as both teachers and scholars in their professions.

Ludden announced SMU’s latest Carnegie Foundation research classification and unveiled the University’s new Quality Enhancement Plan at the Jan. 19 meeting. He also provided updates on the 10-year accreditation review by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), next year’s budget standings and a proposed new structure for undergraduate admissions.

Read more under the link below.

Continue reading “Four professors honored at Spring 2011 General Faculty Meeting”

Interim dean of admission named

Stephanie Dupaul, director of undergraduate admission for SMU’s nationally ranked Cox School of Business, has been named the University’s interim dean of admission, effective Aug. 10, 2010. The appointment was announced by SMU Provost Paul Ludden.

Reporting to the Office of the Provost, Dupaul will supervise recruitment and admission for SMU’s undergraduate programs in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Cox School of Business, Lyle School of Engineering, Meadows School of the Arts, and Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. She will supervise a staff in central admissions and will work with recruitment officers in the schools, as well as with the central Office of Public Affairs on recruitment marketing. In the next several months SMU will restructure the Office of Admission to continue increases in the number and quality of applicants.

Dupaul replaces Dean of Admission Ron Moss. “He will be taking a well-deserved leave after leading SMU’s admissions efforts for 17 years,” Ludden said. “He has positioned us well for future progress, and we appreciate his service.”

Moss has presided over tremendous growth in SMU’s applications and rise in SAT scores. In 2010, for the first time, applications for the fall entering class approached 9,000, and SAT scores have risen nearly 100 points in the last 10 years.

Dupaul has led Cox undergraduate recruitment since 2002, achieving dramatic improvement in the academic profile of students entering the Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) program. She previously served as Cox associate director for B.B.A. Advising from 1996-2002.

“With her experience recruiting top students in a changing market, Dupaul is well equipped to provide leadership in undergraduate admissions for the entire University and to help guide our restructuring,” Ludden said. “Our goal is to continue our rise in national prominence, increasing the number and quality of students applying to SMU.”

The Cox School of Business continually ranks among the top in the nation. In its ratings for 2010, BusinessWeek ranks the Cox B.B.A. program number 31 in the nation in overall quality and number seven for SAT scores.

Before joining SMU, Dupaul was associate director of M.B.A. admissions at the University of Dallas and academic adviser for Brookhaven College. Dupaul holds an Ed.D. degree in education administration from the University of Alabama, a master’s degree in English from SMU and a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin.

> Visit SMU’s Admission homepage

Tune In: Meet the class of 2014

Hundreds of high school students came to campus with their parents for an in-depth look at SMU during Mustang Days in March. The students – all of whom have applied and been accepted to the University – sat in on classes, visited residence halls, met professors and current undergraduates, and got a taste of Hilltop life at its best. Click the YouTube screen to watch a video on the incoming class by Eva Parks Spero of SMU News: