More than 3,600 students have placed deposits to be enrolled as freshmen at Drexel University for the 2018-19 school year, a 2.5 percent increase from last year’s 3,500 students.
“The increase in freshmen deposits for the second year in a row comes after the university overhauled its recruitment strategy, increasing the number of visits to connect with potential students at national and international high schools, college fairs and off-campus receptions,” according to a DrexelNow announcement.
In 2015, Drexel changed its enrollment game plan to target students who are better suited for the cooperative education program, which combines a full-time school experience alternating with a full-time work experience.
“Several years ago, Drexel took the lead in responding to secular changes in national higher education trends, and our ability to exceed our enrollment targets shows our strategy is working,” Randy Deike, the senior vice president of Enrollment Management and Student Success at Drexel University, said to DrexelNow.
Additionally, Drexel has provided more financial aid and has attempted to better the freshman experience so the retention rate could be increased.
“The University has made widespread changes that will ensure that our students get the support and opportunities they need to thrive through graduation and beyond. This has been a university-wide effort, and I want to thank the broad Drexel community for the many contributions to our success and the success of our students,” Deike said.
The total number of freshmen enrolling this fall is expected to be around 3,300, since some students who submitted a deposit will not end up officially enrolling.
For the 2017-18 school year, 3,200 of the students who placed deposits down actually enrolled in classes. The 2016 class of incoming freshmen saw 2,324 new students.
And a majority of these students will likely stay at Drexel; according to U.S. News, Drexel’s average freshman retention rate is 86 percent, which is eight percent above the national average.
Drexel University Online also saw an increase in student enrollment, which was up 6 percent in the fiscal year. The announcement says this was driven by notable increases in the college of medicine, the school of education and the Thomas R. Kline School of Law, and the university expects further momentum as 10 new online programs will soon be launched.
While the number of students has gone up, the scholastic quality of the students enrolled has not decreased, according to the DrexelNow announcement. The incoming freshman class has a median high school GPA of 3.73 and a median SAT score of 1290.
“The increase in SAT scores and GPAs demonstrates that the university is continuing to attract and accept qualified students who will join the ranks of a new generation of ‘right fit’ Dragons and be more likely to remain at the university and ultimately graduate,” the announcement continued.
The plurality of enrolled students are from Pennsylvania at 41.9 percent, with an additional 29.6 percent being from the nearby states of New Jersey, New York and Maryland. While 11.3 percent of the students enrolled are international students.
“University officials caution that while the University’s ‘right-fit’ enrollment strategy continues to show positive momentum, the strategy’s success relies also on the continuation of cost-containment measures that were enacted last year,” DrexelNow said.