Is it the new programs or financial aid? Two area colleges have seen interesting increases in their enrollment this fall, according to school officials.
Manchester University in North Manchester is reporting a 20 percent increase in first year enrollment over 2013, from 367 to 441 students. The university’s total enrollment at 1,479 represents almost a 10 percent increase. Some of the increase is attributed to a 30 percent increase in transfers and enrollment in the relatively new pharmacy program, which has more than 200 students.
In 2012, Manchester started a pharmacy doctoral program at its Fort Wayne campus at Diebold and DuPont roads. The program was boosted by a $35 million grant from the Lilly Endowment fund.
“Seventy-three (students) is the max we can take,” a spokeswoman said.
There is also a new sales major and a competitive swimming program. Officials also say that 100 percent of their students receive some form of financial aid.
At the University of Saint Francis, officials said this year’s enrollment at 2,324 is the third largest in the university’s 125-year history. Last year’s enrollment, 2,381, was the largest and the second largest was in 2012.
Online courses increased by 53 percent, totaling 300 students. Officials attribute some of that interest to new online programs that include a master’s in business administration, master’s in health care administration, and a bachelor of science bridge degree for registered nurses.
“Online student enrollment has contributed to our overall enrollment for the past three years,” said Jean Paul Spagnolo, associate vice president for enrollment management. As far as an improving economy, Spagnolo said he did not believe that was a factor.