Purdue University Fort Wayne sees major increase in enrollment

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (ADAMS) – Purdue University Fort Wayne began the 2018–19 academic year with a major increase in enrollment, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The university reported a total of 2,314 new students have been admitted at the undergraduate level for fall 2018, compared to 1,963 in fall 2017, an increase of 17.88 percent. Enrollment has increased despite the transfer of health sciences programs to Indiana University, and the gains reported do not include those students.

At the graduate level, there have been 151 new admits for fall 2018, following 126 in fall 2017, an increase of 19.84 percent.

“We set some very high enrollment goals going into our inaugural academic year as Purdue University Fort Wayne,” says Ronald L. Elsenbaumer, chancellor of Purdue Fort Wayne. “I’m thrilled that we not only met those goals, but exceeded them.”

Breaking the numbers down by college shows an increase in enrollment for the Richard T. Doermer School of Business by 7.5 percent, while the College of Engineering, Technology, and Computer Science saw an increase of 6 percent.

Enrollment also increased in the university’s three new schools. The School of Polytechnic experienced an enrollment increase of 7.4 percent. The biggest increases come from the School of Education with 11.4 percent and the School of Music, which saw a jump of 16.3 percent. Each of these schools were formed from former academic departments at the university.

There are several factors that can be attributed to the successful enrollment, including a new financial aid strategy that broadened the distribution of aid to beginner and transfer students who qualify, an aggressive recruitment strategy that included more personal calls and getting admissions professionals into more schools, a streamlined graduate admissions process that reduced the time it takes to apply, a banded tuition model to support full-time undergraduate students, and a new branding and marketing strategy that significantly increased Purdue Fort Wayne’s visibility and online presence.

“The university continues to expand as we add programs relevant to businesses and industry in the region,” says Carl Drummond, vice chancellor for academic affairs and enrollment management. “That expansion, our increased marketing efforts, and having the very recognizable name Purdue Fort Wayne are just a few of the things that make us an easy choice for potential students seeking a first-rate university experience.”

Students enrolled for fall 2018 represent 32 states and the territory of Puerto Rico. International students represent 49 countries and also show a huge increase in enrollment, with undergraduate enrollment up 11.9 percent and graduate enrollment up 27.5 percent. This represents an overall increase of 15.4 percent from fall 2017.

Purdue Fort Wayne has seen some other impressive numbers this year, including 1,900 students in attendance for New Student Orientation, making it the largest orientation in history. Student Housing filled all 1,140 beds, with some overflow students being housed at the Holiday Inn on campus.

University officials expect interest in Purdue Fort Wayne to continue to grow with a renewed focus on recruitment and working with business and community leaders to ensure students are getting the education and training they need to fill significant employment needs in and around northeast Indiana.