ACU hit another enrollment record for the 2023 spring semester with a total of 5,721 students enrolled, a 6% increase from spring 2022.
Dr. Phil Schubert, president of the university, released the 12-day numbers giving in-depth details on the university’s enrollment numbers in undergraduate and graduate programs.
In the fall, the university marked its fifth-year enrollment record with 5,731 students enrolled. Transitioning from the fall to spring, the retention rate was at a high of 91.5%.
“I am really proud, it’s an all-time high for spring enrollment,” Schubert said. “We are grateful for the growth that has taken place and for the opportunities that are represented by each and every student that chooses to take this journey at Abilene Christian University.”
The breakdown of the 12-day-numbers follows:
- Total enrollment: 5,721
- Undergraduate students: 1,962
- Abilene campus: 3,304
- ACU Dallas Online: 2,417
In an email sent to faculty and staff by Dr. Schubert, he states, “increasing student retention is a key part of our strategic plan, and the relationships you build with students are an important component of this work.”
This strategic plan has been shown successfully by departments working with their own students to increase retention rates. Schubert’s email also explained departments including Communication and Sociology, Mathematics and Theatre, had 100% of their first-year students stay between the fall and spring semesters. Departments such as Engineering and Physics, Management Sciences, Information Technology and Computing and undeclared majors, kept 94% of their first-year students between the two semesters also.
“We want to create an environment on our campus that engages every student,” Schubert said. “And puts them in situations to build positive relationships to be involved in things that are fun and exciting, as well as informative and create opportunities to learn. The more we can do that, we believe that feeds the success of their education journey.”
In this 2022-23 school year, the university has started new tactics to improve first-year student retention. With moving rushing and joining to the spring of freshman year and creating an incentive to be involved in sporting events, Tamara Long sees the positive movement in keeping students here after their first year.
“I think these moves have shown students that they have a place to belong,” Long said. “This is what we want to do, create a space for students to find a community in the bigger ACU community to feel more connected and more personally involved.”
Creating more opportunities for students to find a home here at ACU is a goal the university is working towards, showing not only future students but also current students that this is their home. The university values its students and the impact they have made on this campus and it is evident in the way they push to make a better college experience.
As the enrollment numbers continue to rise, the leadership at ACU continues to work to grow those numbers even more in the future semesters to come.