This article was originally published by Mennonite World Review

Fresno Pacific’s gain leads fall enrollment totals

Fresno (Calif.) Pacific University set an enrollment record this fall by adding more than 250 students.

chart enrollment


Four other U.S. Mennonite colleges, universities and seminaries grew enrollment, while three declined.

FPU’s total enrollment grew by 7.4 percent to a record 3,718 students. Bachelor’s degree completion and graduate programs drove growth with increases of 16 and 10 percent, while traditional undergraduates dropped 2 percent from last year’s record-setting total of 1,254.

Degree completion was aided by the addition of new health care administration and social work/social welfare programs. Graduate programs saw growth in teacher education, business administration and nursing.

Fresno Pacific Seminary enrollment dropped by three to 150.

Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kan., grew by about 4 percent to 766 students, roughly returning to 2012’s total enrollment. Of the 594 undergraduates on the Hillsboro campus, 231 are new, tying a record from 2011. A record was set for male undergraduates, with 368 in Hillsboro, Wichita and online.

Graduate enrollment at the Wichita campus increased from 11 to 31, the highest total in TCW history. This contributed the most to growth in full-time equivalency from 659 to 675.

Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Va., grew by 81 students to 1,870.

Traditional undergraduate students increased by about 2 percent to 953, growing for the sixth straight year. The incoming first-year class of 243 is the largest since the 1990s.

Graduate programs grew by 3 percent to 356, with nursing the fastest-growing program.

Records were set with undergraduate students — 31 percent are an ethnic minority and 6 percent are international students.

Eastern Mennonite Seminary enrollment decreased slightly to 133, but the full-time equivalency slightly rose. The number of United Methodist students increased to 30.

Total enrollment at the Lancaster, Pa., campus grew from 228 to 257, which includes education master’s degrees, undergraduate nursing degree completion and seminary studies.

Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Ind., increased total enrollment by nearly 12 percent to 113 students, and full-time equivalency grew by a similar margin to 55.1.

Online course enrollment more than doubled to 44 students, thanks to four available courses this fall — double last year’s.

Enrollment at Bethel College in North Newton, Kan., was nearly level, adding one student to reach 483. Full-time students increased by four to 468.

First-time freshmen number 111, down from last year’s 123 — the biggest class in recent memory. Of the freshmen, 16 had a parent, grandparent or sibling who previously attended Bethel.

Some of Bethel’s biggest growth has come on the football roster. When 472 students attended classes in 2012, the team listed 56 players. A coaching change was made after that season, and this year’s roster lists 90 players.

“We have been pleased with the growth in our football program,” said Lori Livengood, vice president of marketing and communications. “With new admissions leadership we plan to grow other areas within the college.”

Total enrollment at Goshen (Ind.) College dropped about 5 percent from 888 to 842 — a decline the college attributes to a larger class graduating in the spring. The 2012 enrollment was 923 students, and 2011’s was 945.

The first-year class is Goshen’s most diverse, with nearly 35 percent of traditional students identifying as non-white.

In September the college hired an enrollment consultant to revamp strategies. In early August, vice president of enrollment and marketing James Townsend resigned. His duties are shared by a team headed by interim provost and executive vice president Lee Snyder.

Adult and graduate programs are growing. Degree completion and accelerated programs increased from 55 to 79 students, and master’s degrees have 68 students, up from 60 last year.

Bluffton (Ohio) University total enrollment dropped by 4.5 percent to 1,094 students in a decline proportionally similar to the previous year. The university enrolled 1,229 students in 2011.

There are 796 full-time undergraduates, down from 838.

Though Hesston (Kan.) College welcomed 237 new students — a 10 percent increase from last year — total enrollment is down nearly 5 percent, from 449 to 428.

“Admissions employed several new visit initiatives that helped increase the number of visitors to campus, and thereby the number of new students,” said Rachel Swartzendruber Miller, vice president of admissions and financial aid.

Full-time students dropped from 376 to 360, though full-time equivalency only decreased slightly from 403 to 399. There are 48 international students, down from 64 last year.

Students from Mennonite congregations make up 33 percent of the total population, about the same as last year’s 34 percent.

Tim Huber

Tim Huber is associate editor at Anabaptist World. He worked at Mennonite World Review since 2011. A graduate of Tabor College, Read More

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