Enrollment and retention continue to increase at Goshen College

GOSHEN, Ind. — Enrollment and retention continue to rise at Goshen College, according to college officials.

As the spring semester began, 934 students were enrolled in all programs at Goshen College compared with head counts of 870 for the spring semester in 2005-06 and in 2004-05, and 854 in 2003-04, according to Bill Born, vice president for student life and dean of students.

In addition, fall-to-spring student retention figures continue to increase among first-year students. New enrollment figures show that 96.6 percent of first-year students attending classes in the fall are enrolled this spring. The comparable figure for 2005-2006 was 95.9 percent, and in 2001, it was 88.6 percent.

Last fall, the college began the 2006-07 academic year with an overall student enrollment of 951, compared with 922 a year earlier, according to the college’s registrar’s office. The enrollment count included both full- and part-time traditional students and those taking courses or seeking degrees through Goshen’s Division of Adult and External Studies.

Student satisfaction, as measured by the yearly retention rate, continues to show considerable strength. Last fall, 84 percent of the previous year’s first-year students were again taking classes, marking the fourth year in a row of retention rates at or above 80 percent.

Nationally, the freshmen retention rate at four-year schools — the percentage of students who come back in the fall for a second year of education — is 74 percent, according to ACT Inc., the nonprofit organization that administers the ACT college preparation test. For private colleges, the rate is 75 percent; for public colleges, 72 percent.

“Our recent success in recruiting and retaining exceptional students is a credit to all at Goshen College. From the excellent work in enrollment management, to the personal relationships between faculty and students, along with the various support services providing for the everyday experiences of students, we are experiencing success,” said Born.

Goshen College’s Class of 2010 – those that entered in the fall of 2006 – has strong academic credentials. The incoming average grade point average for the first-year class was 3.53, with an average SAT score of 1126 and ACT score of 24. Class members come from eight countries and 21 states, including 44 percent from Indiana and 24 percent from Pennsylvania and Ohio. The top two declared majors are biology and nursing.

In addition, the college is optimistic that enrollment will continue to grow. The college is hoping to begin the 2007-08 academic year with 230 first-year students. If so, that will mark a substantial increase over August 2006 when 206 students were enrolled – the largest first-year class since 1999. In 2005-06, the initial first-year class numbered 195.

“While there is still much work to be done, the Admission Department has done an outstanding job thus far this year in positioning for a strong incoming class,” Born said. “The next few months will be critical as we work personally with each student and family in defining their educational goals and financial packages.”

For the fall 2007, Goshen College also expects to have 720 residential students compared with 594 students living on campus in the fall 2006. The increase is being driven by rising enrollment and the implementation of new residency requirements approved three years ago impacting the returning senior class.

Born said that he believes Goshen College’s core values — Christ-centeredness, passionate learning, servant leadership, compassionate peacemaking and global citizenship — are appealing to students, who welcome the support they provide.

Editors: For more information about this release, to arrange an interview with Vice President Born or to request a photo, contact Richard R. Aguirre, Goshen College director of public relations at (574) 535-7571 or rraguirre@goshen.edu.

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Goshen College, established in 1894, is a four-year residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college’s Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron’s Best Buys in Education, “Colleges of Distinction,” “Making a Difference College Guide” and U.S.News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” edition, which named Goshen a “least debt college.” Visit www.goshen.edu.

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