ISU welcomes larger than expected, better prepared freshman class and record graduate enrollment

August 31 2006

Indiana State University has a larger than expected freshman class this fall coupled with record graduate enrollments, university officials announced today.

The number of new freshmen entering the university increased for the first time since 2001 when the university began implementing more rigorous admissions standards. First-time freshmen enrollment grew by 4 percent to 1,703 this fall.

The quality of the incoming freshmen who received regular admission to the university also improved with the class having higher SAT scores despite a nationwide downward trend and a higher grade point average. In addition, 94 percent of the students have completed a Core 40 curriculum compared to 81 percent in the 2005 class.

Graduate enrollments increased again this year to 2,031, the highest graduate enrollment in the institution's history. This is the third year in a row that the university has had record graduate enrollment.

"Indiana State is emerging as an institution of choice for high-achieving students in an increasingly competitive environment. This bodes well for the future," said ISU President Lloyd W. Benjamin III. "Our continuing growth in graduate student enrollment reflects the growing status and importance of Indiana State University in preparing a high-quality workforce for the state and nation."

Overall undergraduate enrollment was also stronger than expected as larger classes graduate and the smaller classes of recent years move up. Total enrollment decreased by 1 percent to 10,568 while the university had anticipated, and budgeted for, a 3 percent decline.

"We are very pleased. The work of a tremendous number of faculty, staff, students and alumni is beginning to pay off," said C. Jack Maynard, provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Maynard noted that the Laptop Scholarship provided to freshmen entering this fall with a 3.0 grade point average or higher and other changes to the university's scholarship program have combined to raise awareness of Indiana State among academically talented students.

"We created a number of guaranteed scholarships where students know that if they meet a certain level of performance in high school and apply for admission by set deadlines, they will receive these scholarships. This gives them a concrete goal to work toward," said Maynard.

Last week, the university distributed nearly 700 Lenovo ThinkPad laptop computers to the first recipients of the Laptop Scholarship. Starting in fall 2007, Indiana State University will become the first public university in Indiana to require all incoming freshmen to have a laptop.

"Technology is clearly driving the delivery of education in new and profound ways. We are excited about the possibilities that the laptop initiative will provide," Maynard added.

Changes were also made in the recruitment of graduate students, the provost noted. Guidelines for assistantships were revised and stipend minimums were implemented. These changes assisted the faculty in attracting a number of outstanding graduate students to ISU.

"Raising the level of our stipends makes us much more competitive in attracting high-quality graduate students to our programs. Graduate students are a very important component of our enrollment and play significant roles in the academic life of our campus," said Maynard.

International enrollment, fostered by the university's numerous partnerships and exchange programs with institutions around the world, also grew by 3.7 percent to 448 students.

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Contact: C. Jack Maynard, provost and vice president for academic affairs, (812) 237-2309, cmaynard@isugw.indstate.edu

Writer: Teresa Exline, university spokesperson, (812) 237-7783, texline@indstate.edu

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Story Highlights

The number of new freshmen entering Indiana State University has increased for the first time since more rigorous admissions standards were put in place in 2001. First-time freshmen enrollment grew by 4 percent while the university's Graduate School is enjoying record enrollment for the third straight year.

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