Hoosier Colleges Break Enrollment Records

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Winona Lake-based Grace College and Manchester University are touting higher enrollment numbers. Grace broke records for its enrollment, while Manchester logged its largest incoming class in at least three decades. September 2, 2014

News Release

WINONA LAKE, Ind. -- At a time when increasing enrollment in higher education is challenging, Grace College once again achieved a record-breaking enrollment of 2,187 total students, a 14.9% increase over the 2013 enrollment of 1,904. Grace welcomed 426 new on-campus students compared to 399 in 2013.

In addition to the record new student enrollment, Grace has experienced excellent student retention. There are three main contributing factors creating such high student retention. The first is a dedicated and caring faculty and staff. The second is an innovativethree-year accelerated degree program, launched in 2011, that spans all 65 majors and allows students to graduate sooner, save a year’s tuition, and enter the workforce a year earlier. The third is another option making a quality education even more affordable by allowing students to graduate with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in just four years total.

Grace’s innovative, market-driven responses to a rapidly changing higher educational landscape, increasingly shaped by concerns about college affordability and accessibility, have made Grace a desirable option for students of all ages and educational interests.

With this bent toward innovation in mind, Grace is once again becoming a change agent in higher education with its new Measure of Grace initiative. Beginning with the incoming class in fall of 2015, Grace will lower its undergraduate tuition by nine percent and provide free textbook rentals for all undergraduates as well. In addition, tuition will never be higher than a student’s first year, and they will receive a loyalty reduction of an additional $500 off per year. In total, these incentives can add up to a savings of almost $45,000 over other private colleges.

“The increased number of students choosing Grace demonstrates that our aggressive attempts to lower costs and present more efficient educational models are directly benefiting students who seek the best value in education,” said Dr. Bill Katip, president of Grace. “My passion is to make a Christian college experience affordable for all students and families without sacrificing excellence and we are making it a reality with options like our 3-year program and Measure of Grace initiative.”

Grace College is an evangelical Christian community of higher education that offers undergraduate and graduate degrees and applies biblical values in strengthening character, sharpening competence and preparing for service. Grace College also offers flexible online graduate degrees, on-campus and online degree completion programs, and highly affordable, easily accessible degree programs in Detroit, Fort Wayne and Indianapolis. The 180-acre main campus is located in the historic resort town of Winona Lake, near Warsaw, Indiana.

September 2, 2014

News Release

NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. - Manchester University is today announcing a record undergraduate enrollment increase in its first-year class and the largest incoming class in at least three decades.

Preliminary figures released Tuesday show that there are 441 first-year students, a 20 percent increase over Fall 2013 (367). Total University enrollment is now at 1,479, a 9.6 percent increase over Fall 2013 (1,349), bolstered by a 30 percent increase in transfers and new pharmacy enrollment.

Manchester has added 73 students to its College of Pharmacy doctoral program, making its total more than 200. The school got nearly 600 applications for those 73 spots and had a wait list of 100 qualified students.

“Over the past year, Manchester has gotten really clear about who we are and what we deliver. It’s clear that the University’s focus on affordable excellence is in high demand,” said Scott Ochander, vice president of admissions and marketing. “Manchester is an accepting and supportive place that helps young people find themselves.”

While there are a few new features on campus this year – a new sales major and competitive swimming program – he said the University and its growth are driven by its purpose to graduate persons of ability and conviction, and the transformational outcomes students receive through their time at Manchester.

Manchester offers a Triple Guarantee to students including guaranteed access to financial aid, guaranteed graduation in four years or less and guaranteed job or grad school placement within six months of graduation. “We are able to offer a guaranteed outcome like employment because we deliver” Ochander said. Manchester’s 10-year average for employment/grad school placement is higher than 95%.

“Manchester is a safe place to be yourself, and we simply ask students to be their best selves,” said new MU President Dave McFadden. “We want them to get involved learn who they want to be – and lead the ‘principled, productive and compassionate lives’ our mission statement espouses.”

The community of support around students is a point of distinction for Manchester. “The Manchester community strives to develop the whole person,” he said, “and that involves high expectations, dedication to service and appreciation of the infinite worth of every individual.”

In today’s market, there is a lot of talk about the value of higher education, Ochander said. “At Manchester University, we deliver.”

-MU grads get jobs. Year after year at least 95 percent of Manchester graduates entered the work force, continued their education full-time or joined full-time voluntary service within six months of graduation over the past 10 years. For 2013 grads, the placement rate was 97 percent.


-Undergrads get an “employment guarantee.” – If they have taken advantage of Manchester's services and opportunities and still don’t have a job or acceptance into a graduate school within six months of graduation, they may return for a year, tuition-free.


-We grow CPAs. Manchester well-known for producing well-prepared professionals who are offered full-time positions months before they graduate and perform extremely well on the Uniform CPA exam.


-Manchester University ready for medical school. Over the past five years, 89 percent of Manchester graduates who applied to med school were accepted. The national average is about 40 percent.

-So do our pre-law and psychology students. Over the last decade, nearly 86 percent of Manchester applicants have gained admission to law school, while 100% of those seeking graduate psychology programs have been accepted. The national average is 75 percent for law school.

-100% of Manchester students receive financial aid. The average size of its financial aid package is about $23,000 per student. Most of that is gift aid that doesn't have to be paid back.

Ochander said most Manchester students graduate in four years – some in three years– which greatly increases their earning power over the years and keeps student loan debt in check. The average Manchester student graduates with less than $30,000 of debt, which is lower than the national average.

“When you consider that the average college graduate in Indiana will earn well over a million dollars more than a high school graduate throughout their career, the affordability and outcomes of Manchester University make it a very easy investment choice.” Ochander said.

Manchester starts early to help students focus on their career goals and “build skills and experience to achieve those goals when they graduate,” said Liz Bushnell, associate dean and director of Career Services.

This collaborative effort involves both faculty and staff