By Michael Reschke
Indiana University is once again expecting to set new enrollment records on its Bloomington campus.
While numbers are not official until the university conducts its census later this month, preliminary figures show a beginner class of about 8,100 students. The term "beginner" refers to any undergraduate student who is new to campus and seeking a degree. Freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors can be included in the beginner group.
This year's beginner class has about 100 more students than the record set last year and about 200 more than the record set in 2015. Despite how often it happens, the university doesn't set out to break enrollment records for its beginner class, said Chuck Carney, IU spokesman. Each year, the Bloomington enrollment office shoots for a beginner class of about 8,000 students. More than 8,000 students are admitted because not all will choose to enroll.
"What turned out is we had more people choose IU Bloomington than expected," Carney said.
The year's beginner group set or tied records for diversity and academic achievement. The median GPA of 3.83 matched an existing record and the average combined SAT/ACT test score of 1,292 is the second-highest on record. IU converts ACT test scores to provide one number that accounts for both tests.
There are more than 1,300 underrepresented students in this year's beginner class, setting a new high-water mark for diversity on the Bloomington campus. Last year's 1,244 underrepresented students was also a record for the campus. Students who are black, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian and native Alaskan, Pacific islander and native Hawaiian, as well as those who identify as multiracial, historically have been underrepresented at IU.
About 4,600 students in this year's beginner class are Indiana residents. There is also at least one student from all of Indiana's 92 counties, something that has only happened twice in the past decade. The university has come close in recent years, but was missing Switzerland County in the southeastern part of the state close to Kentucky. To increase enrollment from all areas of the state, students from 25 counties with traditionally low enrollment are eligible for the university's bicentennial scholarship that provides $2,500 each year for four years.
"This speaks to our continuing work to make sure Indiana residents feel they have access to IU and the Bloomington campus in particular," Carney said.
Overall, there are 32,659 degree-seeking undergraduate students enrolled at the Bloomington campus this year. Of those, 59 percent are Indiana residents, 32 percent are domestic students that reside outside of Indiana and 9 percent are international students.
Source: Kokomo Perspective