Peru State College today announced it has enrolled the largest freshman class in the institution’s 146-year history and overall enrollment has increased 5 percent over one year ago.
This year’s freshman class enrollment is 266, up 28 percent since 2012. The number of on-campus students has increased 28 percent in the past five years with 1,008 students currently enrolled. Over 12 percent of freshman class members are Board of Trustees Scholars, the most prestigious scholarship offered by the Nebraska State College System for high academic achievement.
Online and graduate enrollments are both up 8 percent and transfer enrollment is up 19 percent.
Out of state enrollment continues to grow with a 2 percent increase over last year, primarily on campus. Since the college's 2009 implementation of its One Rate Any State program, which allows all students to attend Peru State for the same low rate as in-state students, out-of-state enrollment has grown significantly.
With several weeks left to register for online and off-campus classes, overall enrollment is expected to exceed 2,500 when final figures are calculated in mid-October. Current overall enrollment is 1,926. College officials attribute the growth, in part, to a student-centered culture, news of student successes, award-winning advertising initiatives and new technology-supported admissions initiatives.
President Dan Hanson said, “Creating an educational environment that encourages student participation and leadership is critical to ensuring that our students are able to draw on their experiences to respond effectively to future challenges. Innovative coursework, undergraduate research and professional development opportunities all play an important role in the education process. By giving our students the tools needed to think critically, we ensure they can compete successfully when they graduate.
“Peru State’s student-centered culture is clearly resonating with students and resulting in more interest in the college, increased enrollment and better retention. We will continue to build a student experience that is relevant in today’s marketplace, flexible enough to fit any lifestyle and affordable enough for anyone interested in pursuing a college degree.”
With the influx of freshman students this fall, the college is nearing capacity in its residence halls.
Hanson said, “Any college president would say it’s a good problem to have, but it’s also one we must address quickly if we continue to grow at this rate. We have already begun looking at contingency plans in the event we reach capacity next year, which is quite possible.”