IPFW admissions ‘turn corner’
Highest since 2011; nontraditional students up 62%
By ROSA SALTER RODRIGUEZ | The Journal Gazette
Although total enrollment figures won’t be available until next month, IPFW officials say new admissions for the fall semester are the highest in five years.
The university admitted 4,516 students, with the majority coming straight from high school but with an increase in the number of students starting to pursue or complete degrees at older ages.
Although their numbers remain small, adult nontraditional students, those older than high school graduation age, were up 62 percent this year – from 55 to 89 students.
The university is making more of an effort to attract nontraditional students, which in past decades made up much more of its enrollment, said Carl Drummond, vice chancellor for academic affairs and enrollment management. Next year’s goal is 150 such students.
Students coming to IPFW from high school amounted to nearly 3,200 – the highest total since 2011.
From a high of 3,500 in 2011, the number fell to 2,500 in 2013 and has recovered for the past four years, officials said. This year’s total represents an increase of 22.7 percent over 2013.
Last fall, total enrollment at IPFW was 12,719, a 3.7 percent drop from the previous year.
John Kaufeld, IPFW spokesman, said market research done by the university suggests the increase in new admissions may stem from the desire of today’s high-school graduates to go to school near home.
“That was the No. 1 thing we heard – location. They were very interested in not leaving Fort Wayne,” he said.
Drummond said the new students will likely make up a greater portion of all IPFW enrollment this year because of a large number of graduates in recent years.
“It looks like we have turned the corner on freshmen, and we are probably going to have more students than ever in terms of freshmen,” he said. “It’s really exciting for us.”