Classes began on August 17 for the fall semester at Marian University with the fifth consecutive year of record enrollment for the university.
Total enrollment, a number that reflects positive trends in student retention (number of enrolled students who return) and transfer students, stands at 2,214.
Marian University welcomed 314 freshmen on August 14; four more than the goal of 310. University officials set enrollment goals based, in part, on available housing options, which are at capacity. The new freshman class represents the continuation of a five-year trend of enrollment growth.
In a year when families nationwide have been challenged by job loss, salary reductions, and other economic factors, recruiting and admission staff in Indiana were hampered by a slow state budget process that held financial aid awards to hundreds of students in limbo. Marian University actively recruits academically capable low-income students—including the state’s 21st Century Scholars—who depend upon state financial aid to pay a large portion of their tuition bill.
“It is tremendously encouraging to see enrollment numbers grow, given the many different challenges students and their families face,” said Marian University president Daniel J. Elsener. “We are committed to providing an exceptional education to our students and have pledged to work with them and their families to find every financial resource possible so that they can continue on the path toward earning their degree,” he said.
University officials noted that the retention rate for 21st Century Scholars was over 75 percent, an important indicator of teaching and learning performance. “In general, students in this program have significant financial challenges to remaining enrolled. They may also have to overcome cultural and family barriers to complete their college education,” said university provost Dr. Tom Enneking. Marian University has one of the highest per capita populations of 21st Century Scholars of any institution in the state, and is one of only two institutions that offer a dedicated, full-time admission counselor and academic advisor for these students.