BIG RAPIDS -- Ferris State University enrolled 12,578 students system-wide for Fall 2006 -- a record number for the school. Enrollment increased over last fall's count even as the University implemented higher admission standards in terms of grade point average and ACT scores.
"This enrollment increase is a direct result of the excellence of our faculty and our academic programs," said President David Eisler. "We are very pleased with this continuing upward trend. This shows a recognition on the part of students throughout the state that Ferris provides the type of education that leads to great careers."
The University saw an especially strong growth in the number of students transferring to Ferris, with 1,645 students coming to Ferris from other schools -- an increase of 263 over last fall. Ferris has a new transfer office as a point of contact for students, and the University has also instituted new transfer scholarships that are attracting high performing community college students.
"I think it's clear that students who have begun their college careers elsewhere are looking at Ferris very favorably," said Vice President for Student Affairs Dan Burcham. "This success is the culmination of a lot of people working very hard."
"Since implementing our first Bachelor of Art degrees in 2001, students are seeing us as a school that offers a full spectrum of degree opportunities," said Vice President for Academic Affairs Michael Harris. "Also, the fact that our Honors Program has increased significantly is a sign that we are attracting students who want to be challenged both in the classroom and in their service to the community."
Ferris State University has long been an innovator in offering degrees that respond to needs in the marketplace. In 1975 Ferris was the first school to offer a degree in Professional Golf Management, and in 2004 it began its very popular and academically rigorous Digital Animation and Game Design program.
"In 1884 when Woodbridge Ferris founded the University, the economic challenge of the time was re-training loggers and small farmers - both men and women - who were looking for new opportunities," said Eisler. "Today, we are also in a transitional economy. I believe our enrollment figures show that more than a hundred and twenty years after our founding, we offer the degrees that our students and our state need."
Ferris State University is a four-year public university with campuses in Big Rapids, Grand Rapids and satellite locations across the state. Ferris offers more than 170 educational programs, including doctoral, master's, bachelor's and associate degrees and certificates through the Colleges of Allied Health Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Human Services, Pharmacy, Professional and Technological Studies and Technology; the Kendall College of Art and Design; and the Michigan College of Optometry.