News - 9/9/09

Enrollment rises to highest level since 1983


VALPARAISO – Valparaiso University’s fall enrollment has reached its highest level in more than 25 years, including record enrollment in its programs for graduate and law students.

A total of 4,070 students are enrolled at Valpo, the highest total since 4,190 were enrolled in 1983 and an increase of more than 2 percent from last year’s fall enrollment.

“Seeing increased enrollment in each of Valpo’s divisions – undergraduate, graduate and law – during a challenging economy is an indicator that students and families know the high value of a Valpo education,” said President Mark A. Heckler. “They tell us that they are attracted to Valpo because of our strong track record of retaining and graduating students in a timely manner due to the individualized attention they receive from our faculty and staff. They also convey that the added value of a Valpo experience rests in its compelling education experience, both inside and outside the classroom, that will prepare graduates for lifelong personal and professional success.”

Valpo’s graduate programs continue to grow, with 579 students enrolled in graduate studies this fall, an increase of more than 16 percent from the record 498 students enrolled in fall 2008. Increased graduate student enrollment has been driven by the recent launch of new master’s programs in international economics and finance, digital media and sports media, as well as the expansion of Valpo’s existing graduate programs.

The School of Law also set a new enrollment record with 599 students this fall, topping the previous high of 596 students set last year.

Enrollment in undergraduate programs totals 2,892 this fall, including 845 new students, up from 2,885 in fall 2008. Among new students, Valpo experienced growth in enrollment of first-time freshmen students and transfer students from 2008 to this year.

Gender balance among Valpo’s students remains virtually the same as a year ago, with women making up 52 percent of the student body. Fourteen percent of Valpo’s freshmen are members of an ethnic minority, up from 13 percent last year. Members of traditionally under-represented minorities compose 27 percent of Valpo’s first-year law students.

The typical freshman had a score of 1144 on the SAT (critical reading and mathematics sections), which is 128 points higher than the national average of 1016 for high school seniors taking the test last year, and a 3.28 high school grade point average on a 4.0 scale.     

Valpo’s students come from 44 states and Washington, D.C., as well as 37 countries on six continents. This year’s freshman class includes students from 28 states and 14 countries in addition to the United States.

This summer, Valpo set a new record in enrollment for its summer sessions due in large part to a greater variety of online courses made available to students. A total of 1,883 students enrolled in 2009 summer courses at Valpo, an increase of more than 15 percent from last year’s summer enrollment of 1,635 students.