Trine rides ‘differentiation’ to boost enrollment

August 8th, 2017

By Dan McGowan | Inside INdiana Business

Trine University is reporting its fourth consecutive year of increased enrollment at its main campus in Angola and President Earl Brooks II says "differentiation right now really is the key" for his school's growth and for higher education in general. "You have to look at every year, I think, differently," Brooks says. "I don't think you can make assumptions that one good year leads to another." He adds that it's important to "almost reinvent yourself" every year and for Trine, that means the type and delivery method of courses, as well as investing heavily into campus projects and programs.

Trine has added several athletic programs -- ice hockeywomen's triathlon and men's volleyball, to name a few -- and invested big into new facilities like the planned $13.3 million MTI Center and $8.2 million Thunder Ice Arena. The funding is from the ambitious Invest in Excellence fundraising campaign, which has been boosted to a $125 million goal. In June, the university quietly closed its campus in Peoria, Arizona that opened in 2013.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Brooks said he sees areas for continued growth. He says Trine, which has several campuses throughout Indiana and one in Michigan, has a "strong professional focus" and it will continue to look for expansion in areas like health sciences and online or hybrid online/in-person options -- particularly for working adults. The strategy, he says, is "not competing with other institutions, but helping fill a market need or skills gap."

The university is expecting enrollment in Angola to reach 4,060 for the fall semester, an increase from 3,720 -- or nearly nine percent -- a year ago. You can connect to more about Trine's anticipated enrollment jump by clicking here.