Enrollment and retention rise again at Goshen College

GOSHEN, Ind. – Enrollment, retention and the number of first-year students and minorities continue to rise at Goshen College, college officials said.

This fall, there are 971 students on campus, who are attending full or part-time or are taking courses or seeking degrees through Goshen’s Division of Adult and External Studies, compared with 951 last year, according to Stan Miller, the registrar at Goshen College. This year’s total includes 16 part-time students enrolled in the college’s first graduate program – a Master of Science degree in Nursing.

The college begins the academic year with 202 first-year students – the second straight year the incoming class has exceeded 200 and the second largest first-year class since 1999-2000. Last year, the college had 206 first-year students compared with 195 in 2005-06.

Meanwhile, the number of U.S. minority students has increased substantially. There are 115 full- and part-time minority students enrolled this fall compared with 93 in 2006-07, 82 in 2005-06 and 77 in 2004-05. In addition, 54 international students are enrolled.

This fall, the full-time equivalency (FTE) of students is 906 compared with 895 in 2006-07. Of that total for this year, the traditional undergraduate program has an FTE of 860.

“This is wonderful news,” said President James E. Brenneman. “Enrollment is a key way colleges measure success, which is why the latest figures are so gratifying. More importantly, we are excited about the opportunity to prepare more students for successful careers and vocations that will allow them to transform lives and change the world.”

Fall-to-fall student retention figures also continue to rise – a sign of growing student satisfaction at the college. New enrollment figures show that 84 percent of the 2006-07 first-year students are enrolled this fall as sophomores. The comparable figure last year was 83 percent and it was 80 percent for 2005-06. This marks the fifth year in a row of retention rates at or above 80 percent.

Nationally, the first-year 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.

“These retention figures speak to strong recruitment strategies and overall student satisfaction once students arrive on campus,” said Bill Born, vice president for student life and dean of students. “Our defined core values offer a solid foundation for our recruitment and retention efforts.”

Born said he believes the college’s core values – Christ-centeredness, passionate learning, servant leadership, compassionate peacemaking and global citizenship – appeal to students, who welcome the support and guidance they provide.

“Our success this year is a credit to all faculty, staff and students engaged in enrollment efforts, in particular the enrollment management team,” Born said. “Enrollment is a shared objective by all at Goshen College and many have contributed to our success both in bringing new students to campus and retaining them once they have arrived.”

Other fall enrollment highlights:

  • The profile of the Class of 2011 shows the continued strong academic credentials of Goshen College students. The average grade point average for the incoming class is 3.48, with an average SAT score of 1138 and an average ACT composite score of 25.57. Class members come from nine countries and 30 states, including 42 percent from Indiana. The top three declared majors are business, education and nursing.
  • The top five states sending traditional undergraduate students to the college are Indiana (400), Pennsylvania (95), Ohio (75), Illinois (63) and Michigan (34).
  • Of full-time students, 59.8 percent are from Mennonite-affiliated churches and 39.2 percent come from other denominations.
  • Students are enrolled from 25 countries, with more than half these international students coming from Ethiopia, Kenya, Indonesia, Nepal, Ecuador, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Tanzania.

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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.


Goshen College, established in 1894, is a 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.