Connecticut College has received a record number of applications for the Class of 2014, with more than 5,200 applications received to date. The previous record, set three years ago, was 4,742. The surge in applications - a 10 percent increase over last year - shows the college´s strength, particularly in a challenging economic and demographic environment, President Leo I. Higdon Jr. said. "Students want to come to Connecticut College for a top liberal arts education that will prepare them for a full life and an enriching career in whatever field they choose," Higdon said. "We are attracting more and more students as we continue to improve our campus and invest in the student experience." Specific strategies implemented over the last several years include: - Focused recruiting with new emphasis on specific geographic regions and demographic groups - Expanded communications emphasizing academic excellence, institutional momentum, value and financial aid - Investments in campus facilities, including the new fitness center, that enhance the student experience and the campus visit experience - Implementation of a new standardized-test-optional policy that removes barriers to applications for many underserved students. Martha Merrill ´84, dean of admission and financial aid, said students are getting the message about Connecticut College. "We hear repeatedly from prospective students and their parents that they are awed by the beauty of the campus and impressed by the academic program and the wide range of opportunities for students," Merrill said.