Huntington, Ind.— Huntington College announces a total fall enrollment of 980, including 838 undergraduates, 89 adult students enrolled in its EXCEL Program and 53 students enrolled in the Graduate School of Christian Ministries.
The announcement marks the third consecutive year that enrollment at the Christian liberal arts college has hovered around the 1,000 mark. Headcount is down slightly from last year’s record-high of 1,016, due in part to a record graduating class of 234 last spring. Although the College had a “deep hole to fill,” the overall trend is still “very encouraging,” said John Paff, executive director of communication.
“Since 1993, Huntington College’s student body has grown by 70 percent,” Paff said. “To accommodate this dramatic increase, we have opened two new residence halls and a 91,000-square-foot Science Hall. Huntington’s rapid expansion has occurred despite a turbulent economy and uncertain job market. We believe many students and their families are eager for the sort of high quality, faith-based education that Huntington College provides.”
Paff also credits Huntington’s growth to its strong academic reputation throughout the region. In recent years, US News and World Report has consistently ranked Huntington College in the top tier of comprehensive colleges in the Midwest. The magazine’s annual guide to “America’s Best Colleges” considers many factors in its annual review, including peer evaluation, classroom size, faculty resources, graduation rates and alumni giving.
Such public acclaim is helping Huntington attract greater numbers of well-qualified students. “The ACT scores for new students this fall were the highest figure on record,” said Jeff Berggren, vice president for enrollment management and marketing. “The average GPA and average SAT are both the second highest on record and are significant increases from 2002.”
Retention numbers are also very positive this year, Berggren notes. Seventy-seven percent of last year’s freshmen returned for their sophomore year--among the highest figures in recent years. Overall retention of those students eligible to return is 85 percent.
Survey data indicate that Huntington College students are more highly satisfied with their educational experience than students at other institutions. The Student Satisfaction Inventory (SSI), a tool used by colleges and universities nationwide and administered at HC annually since 1993, allows students to express where they think their school is strong—or weak. Students give HC gold stars in every area, but at the top of the list are several key indicators: tuition value, academic quality, campus safety, faculty expertise and opportunities for spiritual and intellectual growth.
“Results of the survey over the last several years indicate students are now more satisfied with their HC experience, and that Huntington College is at the top when compared with other institutions of all kinds,” said Berggren.
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