Northwestern College’s fall enrollment is up to 1,243, an increase of 37 students from last fall. In addition, this year’s entering freshman class is 351, the largest since 2006.
“We are very pleased with this year’s enrollment,” says Ron De Jong, dean of enrollment services. “We had success identifying students who would be a good fit with Northwestern, and that’s due to a great effort by the admissions staff as well as the entire campus community working together to share our story. Northwestern is becoming more well-known, in part because of our strong rankings by media like U.S. News and World Report, Washington Monthly and Forbes.com.”
The retention rate of freshmen returning for their sophomore year was 80 percent, second best in school history, which also contributed to Northwestern’s high enrollment. “That shows we are providing the kind of experience students anticipated they would receive,” De Jong says.
This year’s enrollment includes the highest percentage of American ethnic minorities Northwestern has ever had, 6.8 percent. Of the freshman class, 10.5 percent are ethnic minorities. “Our staff has worked hard to recruit a more diverse student body,” says De Jong, “because we want all of our students to be prepared to be global citizens in this multicultural world.”
The increase in ethnic minorities is partly attributable to a special effort to recruit students from the Southwest. That endeavor has resulted in enrolling 23 students from California in the freshman class and 59 overall, making it the fifth most represented state on campus.
Northwestern was recently named the nation’s second-best baccalaureate college by Washington Monthly. The college was also ranked in the top 10 of 95 Midwestern colleges by U.S. News & World Report for the fourth year in a row and listed among the top 15 percent of the nation’s colleges by Forbes.com.