After a significant drop in freshman enrollment last year, the freshman rate rose more than 10 percent this school year, nearly reaching the highest number of incoming freshmen in one year.
Freshman enrollment fell from 982 students in 2010 to 864 last year. The enrollment rate grew 10 percent to 958 students.
Last year, Kevin Campbell, chief enrollment officer said the university’s marketing relationship changed in 2010 under new management. He said then that the enrollment office expected to see results from marketing to some freshman, sophomore and junior high school students as early as this school year.
Campbell, said the university’s main marketing focus of reaching high school students earlier and getting more of them to visit campus has paid off.
“We know the most important component in marketing is to let students experience our campus and community firsthand,” Campbell said. “Our campus visitors are always impressed with how friendly the ACU community is, how beautiful our campus is and how engaged our faculty and staff are in the live of our students.”
Campbell said 30 percent more high school students visited campus last year, and many of them enrolled at ACU.
The freshman diversity rate rose by three percent, making this year’s freshman class the most ethnically diverse class in ACU history.
“Diversity is important to us and important for the ACU community,” Campbell said. “We want our ethnic diversity to be more similar to the state’s diversity, and we’re making progress.”
About 75 percent of last year’s freshmen returned for their sophomore year.
Campbell said the number of residential graduate students rose from 402 last year to 461, but online graduate enrollment slipped more than 27 percent, from 385 to 281. Campbell said the enrollment office expects online graduate enrollment to rebound because the Masters degree in Education was just re-launched.
“We’re pleased to see positive results in the academic quality and diversity of this talented group of new students,” said Dr. Phil Schubert, president of the university. “We want to attract students who value highly their academic preparation for a career, as well as the opportunity to live and learn in an environment that builds their faith.”
Total enrollment, including 742 graduate students, is 4,371 students.