Fall 2019 Enrollment Reflects Strong Academic Credentials, Diversity, Commitment to Veterans and Military-Affiliated Students

Posted on 10/3/2019 3:02:08 PM

Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s fall 2019 enrollment includes strong academic achievement of new students, an improved retention rate, strong diversity in the student body, a higher percentage of veteran and military-affiliated student enrollment, and an increase in the number of students in IUP (non-degree) career preparation programs.

Total enrollment at IUP for fall 2019 is 10,636. This includes 10,348 students in degree-seeking programs and 288 students enrolled in career preparation programs. IUP’s career preparation programs are the Criminal Justice Training Center, the Academy of Culinary Arts, the Clinical Medical Assistant training program, and the paramedic training program

New total freshman for fall is 1,864 students. Graduate enrollment in IUP’s nearly 60 master’s programs and 14 doctoral programs is at 2,069. 

“Like many public and private universities in Pennsylvania, our fall 2019 overall enrollment is less than fall 2018,” IUP President Michael Driscoll said. “This was expected, especially in light of the decreasing number of high school graduates in our region.

“But numbers do not tell the whole story. We have prioritized a commitment to academic quality and enrolling a student body that is diverse, including serving our nation’s veteran and military-affiliated students. We also will continue to offer educational opportunities at all levels that meet critical workforce needs,” Driscoll said.

“While we continue to work hard to attract the right students to IUP, including with new communication strategies and initiatives, our priority is to create an environment that educates our students to live, work, and thrive as leaders in today’s—and tomorrow’s—global society,” Driscoll said.

The cohort of new, first-time, full-time undergraduate degree seeking students for fall 2019 continues IUP’s expectation of strong academic credentials.  

This group has a high school grade point average of 3.31, up from the fall 2018 freshman class grade point average of 3.28. A total of 112 of this cohort—a total of 6 percent—graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class, and 16 were valedictorians or salutatorians. This compares to 102 new freshmen in fall 2018 (4.7 percent) who graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class.

IUP’s Cook Honors College, which celebrates the 20th anniversary of its first graduating class this academic year, admitted its largest ever fall class, 138 students. The university celebrated the $4.6 million renovation to Whitmyre Hall, home to the Cook Honors College, on Oct. 4.

IUP’s commitment to maintaining strong academic credentials is showing results.  

The retention rate (the percentage of new, first-time, full-time undergraduate degree seeking students returning for a second year of study) from fall 2018 to fall 2019 rose by almost two percentage points from the fall 2017 to the fall 2018 retention rate.

“This is a very positive trend and tells us that our insistence on academic quality is the right thing to do for our students,” Vice President for Enrollment Management Patricia McCarthy said. “Enrollment management is not just about recruiting new freshmen. It is about recruiting and retaining students who are the right fit for IUP, and who will succeed,” she said.

Driscoll and McCarthy also stressed that the university has maintained its focus on creating a diverse student community.

“While I am very pleased with the academic credentials of our students, I am even more pleased—and inspired—by their intellectual curiosity and bent toward leadership, including a willingness to learn with and from others who are very different from themselves,” Driscoll said. “This is a quality that will continue to set our students apart, especially as they enter the workforce.

“The mission of educating our students for life and work in our global society begins with having a university community that welcomes students and faculty who have a wide range of experiences and backgrounds, including our veterans and military-affiliated students,” he said.

“We all benefit from living, studying, and working with others from different backgrounds and experiences, including the many educational programs and social events organized by our diverse and international students designed to celebrate and showcase their cultures and homes,” Driscoll said.

Out of the total IUP enrollment for fall, 20.7 percent of IUP students are listed as minority and 561 students (5.42 percent of the overall student population) are international, comparable with fall 2018 totals. A total of 56 countries are represented in the international student population. A total of 694 students (undergraduate and graduate) are from outside Pennsylvania.

A total of 964 veterans or military-affiliated students, or 9 percent of the student body, are studying at the university: 929 in graduate or undergraduate degree programs, with an additional 35 in IUP’s career preparation programs. This is an increase from the percentage of veteran and military-affiliated students in the fall 2018 enrollment. 

Since fall 2014, IUP has increased the enrollment of veterans and military-affiliated students by 67 percent. IUP opened its Military Resource Center (now the Military and Veterans Resource Center) in spring 2014 to better serve these students, working collaboratively with IUP programs and services, and serving as a one-stop information and referral site to help veterans and military-affiliated students transition to college life and achieve their academic goals. 

“IUP has been very deliberate in its intent to serve our military-affiliated students and families, and to build a community where they feel welcome and their service and experiences are respected,” Driscoll said. “Our Military and Veterans Resource Center is doing an excellent job in meeting the needs of these students, and we are honored to have this population choose IUP to meet their academic and life goals.”

Enrollment in IUP’s career preparation programs increased by 32 students for fall 2019 from fall 2018. A total of 288 students are enrolled in these programs: 185 students in the IUP Academy of Culinary Arts in Punxsutawney, 36 students in the IUP Criminal Justice Training Center, 42 students in the paramedic training program, and six students in the Clinical Medical Assistant program. The first cohort of students who completed the Clinical Medical Assistant program in September has a 100 percent placement rate.

IUP’s University College, in its second year, has seen significant enrollment growth. Services of the University College are open to all students, with special emphasis on serving first-year students who have not yet decided on a major. 

“The University College is another initiative designed to enhance student success,” Driscoll said. 

In 2018, the University College included 217 students; this fall, a total of 608 students are University College “explorers.” These explorers work with members of the IUP community through the University College to choose the major that is the best fit for them through specialized exploratory courses, advising, workshops on study skills, peer mentors, and linked classes team-taught by professors from different departments.

The College of Health and Human Services has the largest total undergraduate and graduate enrollment: 2,689 and 489, respectively; the Eberly College of Business and Information Technology has 1,250 undergraduates and 316 graduate students; the John and Char Kopchick College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics has 1,409 undergraduate and 147 graduate students; the College of Humanities and Social Sciences has 754 undergraduates and 417 graduate students; the College of Education and Communications has 1,024 undergraduates and 651 graduate students; the College of Fine Arts has 374 undergraduates and 39 graduate students; the University College has 608 undergraduate students; and Extended Studies has 171 undergraduate and 10 graduate students.