McPherson College welcomed its largest freshman class to campus when fall semester classes began on August 20, continuing its upward enrollment trend established over the past five years. With 316 new freshmen and transfer students, it is the largest class in school history. As classes get underway, full-time equivalent enrollment is up to 840.
“This is a milestone for McPherson College and two years ahead of the goals we set in our strategic plan, Community By Design,” President Michael Schneider said. “While many wonder whether or not a small college should exist, this one is attracting and retaining students.”
According to Ruffalo Noel Levitz, an enrollment management firm that surveyed 63 private higher education institutions in the Midwest, average enrollment is down three percent.
“We know families question whether they can afford to send their children to college. McPherson College is showing students how it is possible to graduate with no student loan debt and it is attracting their attention,” President Schneider said.
The McPherson College Student Debt Project is a unique program that aims at helping students graduate with no student loan debt. The project focuses on financial literacy and mentoring, as well as starting financial discipline that can be used throughout life. In addition, students in the program make a commitment to work during college and the college matches a portion of their earnings.
“When you add the Student Debt Project to our success placing graduates in jobs, students and families are seeing that McPherson College is the best choice,” President Schneider said. “Our faculty care about what happens to our students after they graduate. We are proud that nearly every student is working in their field or enrolled in graduate school.”
Focus on career education and experiential learning is spread throughout the McPherson College curriculum, resulting in 98 percent of its graduates in careers within six months of graduation. Two-thirds reported having a job before they graduated.
The success at McPherson College is no accident. This is evident as the college has been recognized for the past four years by the Chronicle of Higher Education as one of its “Great Colleges to Work For,” and has been included among institutions meeting the highest criteria on the list’s honor roll for three years. Last year, McPherson College was the only Kansas school included on the list.