September 16, 2013
Houston Baptist University (HBU) posted a record freshman enrollment this fall, with 568 students attending classes. The first-year student category is not the only enrollment record set by the 2013-2014 HBU student body.
The total combined graduate and undergraduate enrollment of 2,910 is the highest in University history, according to the University's Office of Institutional Research. The prior record was set in 2001 with a combined enrollment of 2,829.
Graduate students constitute a significant segment of growth for the University, with enrollment up 38% over last year. A total of 739 students are enrolled in HBU's fifteen graduate programs, the third-highest total ever.
"It is gratifying and encouraging to see the University's Ten Pillars vision-including our plans for growth-come to pass," said HBU President Robert B. Sloan Jr. "The marketplace has responded positively to our aspirations. At a time when many private institutions are suffering enrollment declines, we are able to grow," he added.
The Ten Pillars vision includes an emphasis on both the scholarly and spiritual formation of HBU students, a distinctive succinctly expressed as the University's commitment to "a higher education."
James Steen, vice president for enrollment management, noted that the uptick also validates a feasibility study commissioned in 2011 that concluded enrollment would increase with the introduction of a University football program. This year marks the inaugural developmental season for the Husky football team.
President Sloan commended faculty and staff members in areas including enrollment management, graduate admissions, advisement, student life, and financial aid for their ongoing efforts to provide a valuable student experience. He believes that students and parents are noticing and affirming the University's work in both academic and student life areas. "Longstanding academic programs such as nursing and new areas of study such as apologetics and the cinema and new media program are drawing students to HBU. They also appreciate our world-class fitness center, refurbishments to student housing, and the excitement of having a Husky football team," said Sloan.