August 29, 2016

first day of classes

Ball State University last week welcomed 21,998 students, its third-largest student body in 20 years, including its third-largest class of freshmen in history.

The freshman class total of 3,911 is 384 more students than last year, said Kay Bales, vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services and dean of students. The largest freshman class in the university’s history came in 1997, when 3,980 enrolled.

Importantly, this year’s freshman class also continues the tradition of strong academic abilities, posting an average GPA of 3.45, and 71 percent of this year’s freshman class earned the Indiana Academic Honors Diploma or its equivalent, an 8-point increase since 2012.

The total on-campus and off-campus enrollment is 21,998, an increase of 802 over last year, Bales said.

Retention for fall 2015 freshmen reached 81 percent, the third consecutive year the university has surpassed the strategic plan goal of 80 percent. The total of new undergraduate transfers to the main campus is 796, up 28 from last year. This is the second-largest transfer class in the last 20 years.

“The quality and diversity of this class reflects the great work that occurs each day by faculty, staff and students who not only tell, but live, the Ball State story,” Bales said. “That means engaging in entrepreneurial learning and leadership development, and getting involved and giving back to our communities.”

Interim President Terry King said the incoming class is further evidence that Ball State University remains on a positive, steady trajectory.

“We continue to recruit great students and excellent faculty and staff members, and we are in a good place,” King said. “And as our alumni recently reminded us, we have done, and we’ll continue to do, the important work of providing students a great foundation upon which they can build a happy, successful life.”

Other statistical highlights about this year’s classes include:

  • More than 19 percent (19.14 percent to be exact) of new domestic freshmen are from underrepresented minority groups, ahead of the 17 percent strategic plan goal.
  • 17.5 percent of new students are from outside Indiana.
  • The average SAT for the new freshman class is 1611, above the national norm.