Grace College is pleased to announce record total student enrollment of 2,333. Undergraduate students number 1,295 at the Winona Lake campus – the largest undergraduate enrollment at Grace since its founding in 1948. A record 495 new undergraduate students joined the Grace community – a 10.5 percent increase from last year – while adult and graduate student enrollment increased 18 percent.
According to Dr. Bill Katip, president, efforts to address affordability and deliver excellence in Christian higher education have been well received by parents and students alike. “When we launched Measure of Grace at the start of last school year, we were optimistic that our work to reduce the cost of high-quality, private education would positively affect enrollment and satisfaction on campus. It turns out that indeed more students started at Grace this year than ever before, and our retention rate also reached an all-time high,” he said.
In the last five years, Grace’s enrollment has increased by 44 percent. Freshman to sophomore retention rate is 83.3 percent, which is more than seven percentage points above the national average of comparable academic level four-year private colleges. Two-thirds of Grace students graduate in four years while the national average of comparable private colleges is 26.3 percent. Also, nearly a third of Grace students earn a bachelor’s degree in just three years.
Measure of Grace is the comprehensive affordability and excellence plan launched at Grace one year ago. At its inception, a 9 percent tuition reduction occurred along with a guarantee that tuition would never increase during a student’s enrollment. In fact, Grace reduces tuition by $500 each consecutive year of a student’s undergraduate enrollment and provides all students with free textbook rentals – an estimated savings of $4,800 over four years. Also part of Measure of Grace is the innovative three-year bachelor’s degree program which can save students a full quarter off their total college cost plus the added earning power of entering the work force one year sooner. Grace also offers a blended degree program which enables students to earn both an undergraduate and graduate degree in just four years.
“With the opportunity to earn any of our 70-plus bachelor’s degrees in three years, nearly half of incoming freshmen indicate their intention to graduate in three years and a growing number are adding a master’s degree in four,” said Cindy Sisson, vice president of enrollment management and marketing at Grace College. “Perhaps most importantly, Measure of Grace includes a commitment to our unchanging mission. We are dedicated to providing a Christ-centered, excellent learning environment where students graduate career-ready and equipped to live lives of purpose,” she said.
Innovative, bold measures to reduce costs and increase excellence is the reason for success according to President Katip. “We are heartened by the results of our efforts at Grace and blessings from the Lord,” he said. “We see positive outcomes in enrollment, alumni engagement and investment in the college – each of which is vital to our success.”
Just opening for students this fall is Omega Dorm, the third new dorm in four years at Grace College. Renovations are currently underway for a state-of-the-art performing and recording center to house Grace’s new worship arts major. The Bernard and Linnie Key Track and Field Complex is nearing completion, and Grace has announced plans to break ground on the Dr. Dane A. Miller Science Complex in the spring.