Take an expanded number of academic and athletic programs, sprinkle in a strong effort to recruit new students and then add a healthy dose of prayer, and what do you have? At Hannibal-LaGrange University, it’s the recipe for an enrollment spurt.
HLGU announced Wednesday that new student (freshman and transfer) full-time enrollment on its main campus has grown by 11 percent over last year. The overall student total has increased by 2.5 percent, which translates into 301 students.
“We’re very pleased,” said Dr. Ray Carty, vice president of enrollment management for the university.
Enrollment at HLGU’s Hannibal campus stands at 950. Add in the university’s extension campuses, not all of which have reported their enrollment, and the figure reaches 1,203. Last year’s enrollment total at a comparable time was 1,168.
“We’re expecting that number to go up some,” said Carty.
This year’s growth ends a recent trend, according to Carty.
“After seeing 10 years of growth, the last two years enrollment leveled off a little bit,” he said. “This year we are pleased with the level of increase. Our desire is to continue to grow.”
This year’s growth spurt was not entirely unexpected. The addition of new academic opportunities, such as the practical nursing program, and “meaningful contact” between admission reps and faculty members with potential students contributed greatly to the increase, according to Carty.
While HLGU features students from 26 states and 27 countries, most of the new enrollment is due to students from the Midwest.
“Most of the growth is due to domestic students,” said Carty, citing an influx of students from Missouri and Illinois. “We have 96 international students on campus, which is about the same number as we had last year.”
The enrollment growth at HLGU has a ripple affect throughout the community, according to Carty.
“It’s amazing how much pizza our students buy and how much gas they buy,” he said with a laugh. “Our students help provide a workforce because many of them work off campus. They provide a new influx into the community, which brings more diversity than there would be without us.”