When Butler University gets back to the classroom Wednesday, 1,125 first-year students will be joining the ranks of the Indianapolis-based institution, its third largest class of new students in the history of the school. Many of the new college students are ready to make an impact, according to Butler admissions counselor Tim See.

“Students are much more globally minded and aware,” See says. “With social media and access to knowledge and news, they understand what is going on and want to be a generation that plays a major role in making change.”

Change is also part of the university's enrollment model, not only in numbers but also its pool of applicants. Butler says since 2015, out-of-state applications have increased by 47 percent.

"It comes down to expanding our markets and growing our pool to new areas," said Vice President for Enrollment Management Lori Greene.

More than half of the new class comes from out of state, mostly Illinois. But Greene says the school has expanded its scope to Colorado and the mid-Atlantic states.

“Our growth aligns with the overall Butler 2020 strategic plan,” said Greene.

Greene says over the past decade the number of applications to the university has increased by about 140 percent. This year, Butler received nearly 15,000 first-year applications. Last year’s freshman class was the largest in school history with 1,336 first-year students.

Numbers aside, the university noted that students in the Class of 2023 are vocal in their activism and awareness.

“This was seen over and over again in essays and letters of recommendation,” said See. “They had a much larger view of their role in a community and were ready to hit the ground running in terms of doing something to enact change instead of searching for their voice or their role."