The energy and enthusiasm of students has returned to Ferris State University for the Fall 2011 semester, and school officials are reporting a seventh consecutive year of record enrollment.
The state of Michigan’s fastest-growing university reports that there are 14,560 students enrolled system wide at Ferris. This fall’s enrollment total is up 179 students from the Fall 2010 semester figure and that represents an increase of 1.2 percent for the university system. On the main campus in Big Rapids, Ferris has a total of 9,970 students. That is an increase of 39 students from the previous fall term.
“Our growth – particularly in main campus freshmen and online students – demonstrates what an exciting time it is to be a part of Ferris State University,” said Dean of Enrollment Services Kristen Salomonson, who also noted an 8.5 percent increase in freshmen admissions on the Big Rapids campus. “Ferris is a place where students feel welcome and know they will receive a great education that leads them to a successful career. We are becoming the institution of choice for many students from all over Michigan and beyond.”
The number of students who are attending college for the first time is up by 200 at Ferris since the Fall 2010 semester, to a total of 2,556.
Vice President for Student Affairs Daniel Burcham also is pleased that Ferris continues to attract a higher quality of student in addition to more students. This year’s incoming class of freshmen for Ferris has the highest ACT composite score in school history at 21.9. Burcham saluted a strong combination that includes the university’s academic mission, strong recruiting efforts and quality academic programming that meets the needs of students.
“While our university continues to grow in enrollment numbers, we’re also pleased that Ferris has made great strides in ability level at the same time,” Burcham said. “We have strong academic programs at Ferris and that is one of the things we know attracts students.”
Online education continues to be an area of growth at Ferris. University officials report a 27-percent increase in students enrolled in online programs for the Fall 2011 semester. The number of students enrolled in online programs was 622 in Fall 2010. That number has increased to 793 at the start of Fall 2011. Student credit hours also are up 10.85 percent.
In growth among the university’s colleges, Education and Human Services has increased by 62 students to 2,294; Allied Health Sciences is up 61 students, to 2,716; and the enrollment of Arts and Sciences is up by 52 students to 2,006.
"It is very exciting to see the continued growth at Ferris," said Fritz Erickson, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. "The interest of so many students coming to Ferris happens in part because of the career-oriented nature of our academic programs and the deep commitment our faculty have to supporting our students' career goals."
By race and ethnicity, Ferris officials reported that the number of Hispanic students is up by 83 since the Fall 2010 semester, to a total of 423. That represents an increase of 24.4 percent. During that same time frame, the number of students of “two or more races” is up by 69, and the number of foreign students has increased by a total of 50 or 28.4 percent.
“These results represent many hours of hard work by our faculty and staff who make Ferris an engaging place to learn,” Salomonson said. “We are delighted that so many students are part of Ferris State University this fall.”
Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris enrollment was down slightly, by five students, to 1,414, since the Fall 2010 semester. The FTIAC (first time in any college) number for KCAD was up by 44 students. The number of students enrolled off campus was down by 1 percent since the Fall 2010 semester.
Ferris State University is a four-year public university with campuses in Big Rapids, Grand Rapids and satellite campuses across the state. Ferris offers more than 180 educational programs, including doctorates, master’s, bachelor’s and associate degrees, through nine academic colleges: Allied Health Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Human Services, Michigan College of Optometry, Pharmacy, Engineering Technology, Kendall College of Art and Design, and the College of Professional and Technological Studies. Ferris also has a University College that provides students with instruction in study skills, reading, career exploration and features an Honors Program.