This year’s freshman class sits at 974 students, while last year’s record-breaking class consisted of 1030 students, a 5.4 percent decrease.
In total, 4427 students enrolled this year compared to 4461 last year – a decrease of less than 1 percent.
“We are extremely pleased with the enrollment for this academic year and the high quality of the students that have chosen to enroll at ACU,” said Dr. Eric Gumm, registrar and director of the First-Year Program and academic development. “The number of students on campus and their hours of enrollment reflect strong progress toward the completion of their degree and graduation from ACU.”
The number of students enrolled breaks down to 1,112 freshmen, 806 sophomores, 762 juniors, 892 seniors, 78 “non-traditional” and 777 graduate students.
The retention rate, the percentage of last year’s freshmen returning to campus, went down to 75.1 percent from 79.4 percent, a 4.3 percent decrease, but Gumm said that number is close to the university’s average retention rate. Six years ago, the university set a retention rate goal of 80 percent, but the average since has been 75.2 percent. Though the goal has not been met, the rate of returning students has remained steady, he said.
This could be the cause for the decrease in enrollment numbers, accompanied by graduation rates which are not yet available.
“Students who seek seek a Christ-centered environment will be better able to understand the environment and expectations of ACU and make the decision to remain here and complete their degree, but each student’s situation is complex and their decision is unique to them,” Gumm said. “ACU seeks to provide a variety of services and supports to help students make the decision to remain at ACU and complete their degree here.”
Despite lower enrollment and retention rates, the university can boast a rise in the ethnicity rate. That figure sat at 30 percent last year but has jumped to 35 percent this year with greater variety in ethnic and racial groups. Students enrolled have come from all over the world, specifically, from 51 states and territories and 55 foreign countries.
“Each individual student arrives at ACU with a unique background and commitment to ACU and the pursuit of a college degree and once they are here they have a variety of academic, social and spiritual experiences as students,” Gumm said.
This year’s statistics show that the student population is about 65 percent white, 13 percent Hispanic, 7.75 percent black, 5.5 percent unknown, 4 percent multiracial, 1 percent Asian and less than .4 percent American Indian/Alaskan native. About 4 percent are non-resident aliens.
Religious variation is also a part of the growing trend of this year’s diverse data.
Church of Christ affiliation is still a majority at almost 39 percent, but other religious groups have become more prevalent on campus.
Of those who reported, statistics show the student population is made up of 16 percent Baptist, 13.2 percent community church, 11.3 percent Christian Church, 4.3 percent Catholic, 4.1 percent Methodist and 12.4 percent other.