Concordia University Ann Arbor has record-breaking enrollment year

By Meredith Bruckner - Community News Producer

Alexus Weber, left, is a junior studying Radiology and Denae Tolu is a junior studying Biology. Courtesy: Concordia University Ann Arbor

ANN ARBOR - For the past six years, Concordia University Ann Arbor has consecutively broken its total enrollment record, and 2018 is its highest number yet.

According to census data released this week by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness for fall 2018, this year is seeing the largest incoming class and a record-breaking retention rate in the school's 55-year history.

With 1,197 students registered for undergraduate, graduate and online programs, the campus has hit its highest enrollment mark ever.

Over the last year, enrollment has increased 11 percent. Since fall 2013, the year the school merged with Concordia University Wisconsin, enrollment has seen a 60 percent increase.

"Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor continues to be richly blessed," University President Rev. Patrick T. Ferry, Ph. D., said in a statement. "The Ann Arbor campus' growth in particular has again earned it a spot among the fastest-growing colleges in the Midwest. Our mission is of unquestionable significance as each facet of our university prepares students to lead uncommon lives of Christian witness and service in countless professions."

This year's incoming class saw a 25-person increase from fall 2017 with 333 incoming undergraduate and transfer students. Compared to fall 2013, it is an increase of 117 new students.

University officials say the retention boost is largely due to "efforts to improve students' financial literacy and enhance communications surrounding the topic."

Along with growing student numbers, CUAA's programs and facilities have also expanded. 

Since 2013, the university has invested millions of dollars in projects on the Ann Arbor campus, including construction of a new football stadium, renovation of the Kreft Center for the Arts and the purchase of the 84,500-square-foot North Building, home to the new School of Nursing and athletic training program. 

Renovations are currently underway for the physician assistant studies program, which will be launching next fall. Later this month, CUAA will be dedicating a new professional-grade track and turf field. 

Over the past five years, Concordia has added several new degree programs, including: 

  • Athletic training
  • Computer science
  • Nursing
  • Social work
  • Special education

It has also added a program in student personnel in higher education at the graduate level.

Since 2013, Concordia has added new athletics teams to its roster, including:

  • Men's and women's hockey.
  • Men's and women's lacrosse.
  • Men's and women's tennis.

As enrollment continues to climb, the school is seeking out ways to make a "high-value Christian university experience accessible to even more students."

Its Luther Promise scholarship, which launched in fall 2016, guarantees up to $20,000 for traditional undergraduates who are: 

  • Members of a Lutheran congregation.
  • Dependents of a rostered LCMS church-worker.
  • Graduates of a Lutheran high school.
  • Children of a Concordia University System alumnus.

The university also announced this year the first-ever scholarship for its alumni. Concordia graduates who are interested in continuing their education and enroll in one of CUAA or CUW's qualifying programs are eligible for a scholarship.

"We want to ensure that a Concordia education continues to be accessible to more learners than ever and that we set up students for success well beyond their years at Concordia," Ferry said in a statement. "As we continue to grow, we expect Concordians, now and in the future, to believe their choice of a Concordia education to be an excellent one."

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