Record-Setting Enrollment This Fall at McKendree University

Class of 2018 is Largest First-Year Group in Its History

(LEBANON, Ill., August 20, 2014) — The growing enrollment trend at McKendree University continues, as the campus community welcomes its largest incoming class in 186 years. While college enrollment is down nationally, first-year enrollment at the Lebanon, Ill., campus is up by 10 percent over last year’s record-setting class, with 430 freshmen and 140 transfer students.

“Everything you do here to is up to you. You, your actions and attitude are responsible for your success,” President James Dennis told the group at the opening convocation on Aug. 20.

Adding to the impressive numbers is a 27 percent increase in students accepted into the university’s honors program.

Eighty-three percent of McKendree freshmen received an academic scholarship and half of them graduated in the upper 25 percent of their high school class. Collectively, the Class of 2018 has an average grade point of 3.5 and an average ACT composite score of 24. Eleven percent have an alumni connection to McKendree through a parent, grandparent or sibling.

While 75 percent of the new Bearcats have come from Illinois, others have arrived from 21 other states, as well as Australia, Canada, Chile, Germany, India, Ireland, Jamaica, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Panama and the United Kingdom.

University officials attribute the growth to McKendree’s expanding regional and national reputation; excellent word-of-mouth recommendation; competition in NCAA Division II athletics; and a variety of new or successful programs, from show choir to women’s wrestling to a nationally prominent debate team.

Ninety-one percent of McKendree first-year students, and almost half of the transfers (46 percent) will live in campus housing this year - 1,100 in all. To accommodate this growth, additional apartments were built at the McKendree West complex on College Road. University housing also includes an apartment building on Hunter Street and several leased apartments on Perryman Street in Lebanon.

At the Lebanon campus on Aug. 20, new students signed the matricula - an official document that starts their college career - during the opening convocation. They will participate in four days of orientation, activities and “Into the Streets” volunteer service in Lebanon and other local communities. Classes start on Aug. 25.

McKendree University remains among the top Midwest regional universities in U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 “Best Colleges” edition, as well as a College of Distinction and one of “America’s 100 Best College Buys.”