FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Loyola Again Sets New Enrollment Records
Tougher Admission Standards No Hindrance to Overall Enrollment
CHICAGO, August 24, 2004 Despite becoming more selective, Loyola University Chicago has set new enrollment records for the fourth year in a row, President Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., announced today.
The university projects an all-time record high of 7,331 full-time undergraduate students, a count that has increased by nearly 50 percent during the past five years. The previous record was 6,524, set 24 years ago. In addition, there are more overall full-time students, 11,558, on campus this year than in the past 20 years, and the university’s overall enrollment of 14,147 is the highest it has been in 10 years.
The new records follow three consecutive years of record freshman classes from 2001 to 2003. However, the overall enrollment can also be attributed to substantial growth in enrollment at the graduate level. The School of Social Work, for instance, is up by 33 percent in enrollment; the School of Education’s graduate program is up by 14 percent, and the number of doctoral students at the College of Arts and Science increased by 10 percent.
“I’m really not surprised. Students recognize Loyola for its outstanding faculty, and this is as much a testament to the faculty and an endorsement of their fine work as anything. Combine these incentives with the fact that we are in one of the most vibrant and leading cities of the world, and I think you can see why I’m not so surprised,” Garanzini said.
Despite the growth, the student to faculty ratio remains low, 13 – 1, and the university is expanding its physical plant with a new life sciences building due to open in January, several new dorms and planned development of its Water Tower Campus including a 51-story hi-rise that will bring 37,000 square feet on line for academic use.
Loyola also continues to be a top ranked national university, according to rankings released last week by the U.S. News & World Report rankings of “America’s Best Colleges.” In fact, Loyola improved upon its “Best Value” ranking by 22 points, climbing from 44th to 22nd in the list of universities that offer students the best value for the money they spend. The “Best Value” ranking is a calculation that compares a university’s overall ranking with total costs per student. Those costs can include tuition, books and other costs minus financial assistance students may receive.
The university also received a record number of applications from prospective freshmen and transfer students this year, up 13.5 percent from last year, noted Terry Richards, associate vice president of enrollment management at Loyola. The application pool combined with a traditionally strong scholarship program enabled the university to help more students pay for college, Richards said.
“We could not do this if people outside the university did not believe in our program,” Richards said. “I expect that we will continue to help more and more students, especially as our student classes become stronger. That’s one of the reasons we chose to raise the admission standards.”
The university is in the process of implementing a series of new initiatives this year including the first overhaul of its core curriculum in 20 years, establishing learning outcomes for students in numerous areas including ethics, critical thinking and writing. The initiatives also call for raising the admission standards, Richards said. For example, the average ACT score for freshmen is the highest it has been in recent history.
By raising the admission standards, the university elected to be more selective in the number of students it accepted, significantly lowering its acceptance rate, and as a result projected an enrollment of fewer freshmen this year, 1,875, compared to last year to ensure academic excellence. “The end result will be an extremely strong academic program that will attract the best students in the overall market,” said Vice Provost John Frendreis.
Jack Wall, dean of the School of Social Work, observed that increases at his school and other graduate programs is the result of collaborative efforts between the faculty and the graduate and professional enrollment program to enhance students’ engagement with the university and their schools.
“Enrollment at the School of Social Work is clearly the result of university-wide efforts to enhance its reputation as a research institution as well as an academic center. I suspect that reputation will only grow as our graduates begin their extraordinary careers,” said Social Work Dean Jack Wall. “It’s a very exciting time at Loyola.”
About Loyola University Chicago
Committed to preparing people to lead extraordinary lives, Loyola University Chicago was founded in 1870 and is among the largest of the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States. Loyola has a total enrollment of more than 15,000 students, which includes 10,000 undergraduates hailing from all 50 states and 82 foreign countries. The University has four campuses: three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy. Loyola also serves as the U.S. host university to the Beijing Center for Chinese Studies in Beijing, China. Loyola’s nine schools and colleges include arts and sciences, business administration, education, graduate studies, law, medicine, nursing, professional studies, and social work. Loyola offers 69 undergraduate majors, 77 master’s degrees, 36 doctoral degrees, and three professional degree programs. Recognizing Loyola’s excellence in education, U.S. News and World Report has ranked Loyola consistently among the “top national universities” in its annual publications. For more information, please visit our web site at www.luc.edu.