Alma College has enrolled the largest entering class in its 130-year history.
The 491 new students, which includes 447 first-year students and 44 transfers, tops the previous high of 487 new students in 2012 and represents a 27.2 percent increase over last year. This year’s entering class includes 10 percent from out-of-state and 18 percent from diverse and international populations. First-year students attending Alma come from 15 states and four countries.
The incoming class also exhibits a strong academic profile consistent with past classes, with an average 3.5 grade point average and 24 ACT score.
Alma’s total headcount of 1,450 students is the second highest in college history and represents a 4.7 percent increase over last year.
“This has been a stellar year in so many ways,” says Alma College President Jeff Abernathy. “In addition to our enrollment success, the college has launched a successful Ambassador Program, achieved ambitious fundraising goals and celebrated successes in Athletics. I am so appreciative of the work that everyone has done to bring in this large class of new Scots.”
Strong academic programs and opportunities to participate in real-world experiences — from internships to research to off-campus and global studies — continue to attract students to Alma, says Bob Garcia, vice president for enrollment. More than 175 students have taken advantage of the Venture program that supports high-impact out-of-classroom experiences.
“The passion of our alumni and friends also has had a strong influence on our ability to have a record class,” says Garcia. “Nearly 200 students came to Alma through a referral from a member of the Alma College family.”
The student recruitment process requires full campus support both for attracting new students and retaining returning students, says Craig Aimar, assistant vice president for enrollment.
“We are appreciative to the faculty, staff, students and alumni for their collaborative work in bringing another great class to Alma,” says Aimar. “Interest in Alma remains strong as our campus visits are up over 40 percent from this record year. We look forward to continued enrollment success in the coming years.”