CHICAGO, IL (February 23, 2011) – A record number of students are taking spring classes at North Park University, continuing a trend that stretches back to 2005.
“There are 3,084 students taking classes through the university, surpassing last year’s mark of 3,068,” said Mark Olson, dean of enrollment and director of church relations.
The university also welcomed the second-highest number of new undergraduate students in its history, said Olson, noting that 102 new undergraduates were engaged in coursework. The record was set in 2007 when the school enrolled 115 new undergraduates.
The number of new students far exceeds the totals of 2005, when 60 people took their first classes and total enrollment was 2,751. That year saw a dramatic increase from roughly 1,400 students when the university was one of the first in the nation to restructure its tuition.
Current trends indicate the student population will continue to burgeon. “Looking ahead to the fall of 2011, we have a record number of applicants and admissions at this point in time, and deposits are ahead of a year ago,” Olson said.
Strong recruiting has helped to increase enrollment, but the high priority North Park places on retaining current students also has been key, Olson said. “Faculty and staff are making sure to give great customer service. They make themselves available to students.”
The university’s core values to be intentionally Christian, urban, and multicultural are decisive factors for many students, Olson added. He noted that North Park is one of just a few liberal arts colleges with its main campus located in an urban environment. The school continues to be an anchor in one of the country’s most diverse zip codes.