The new freshman class at the University of Indianapolis is not only the largest ever—sending total enrollment to a new record of 5,240—but also one of the best-prepared. Among the 855 freshmen are 33 high school valedictorians and salutatorians, the second-highest total in UIndy history. The class arrived with a record 1,164 advanced placement credits, more than triple the 348 reported just five years ago.
The top two majors among new students are nursing and pre-physical therapy, disciplines in which UIndy has nationally recognized graduate programs. Students seem to be looking for so-called “recession-proof” fields that see job growth even in a down economy, said Mark Weigand ’78, UIndy’s vice president for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management.
“Our health-related programs are definitely leading this increase,” Weigand said, noting that pre-occupational therapy and pre-medicine also are among the popular majors.
“In times like these, higher education overall is more attractive, because investing in the future seems more prudent than entering the workforce right away.”
Applications to UIndy jumped 45 percent this year to 7,426, and the campus also saw an increase in tours by prospective students. Those who visit tend to enroll, Weigand noted, and the increasingly residential character of the campus may play a role. Eighty-five percent of freshmen now live on campus, and freshman-to-sophomore retention has risen to 76 percent.
“I think people are noticing the expanded housing options, renovated student center, and increasingly inviting feel of campus,” Weigand says. “Apparently they like what they see.”
UIndy’s overall student headcount, up 5 percent from last year, includes 3,170 daytime undergraduates, 898 adult evening students, and 1,172 graduate students in such disciplines as physical therapy, occupational therapy, psychology, nursing, and business. Although most students hail from Indiana, the current enrollment represents 32 other states and 45 foreign nations.