Fort Lewis College reported increased enrollment for first-time freshmen, though overall enrollment is down for 2015.
The college attributes its 4.5-percent jump in first-time freshmen to new marketing and admission strategies over the past year. School officials saw an increase in new student applications of nearly 50 percent.
“We are so pleased that more new freshmen have chosen Fort Lewis College this year,” said FLC President Dene Kay Thomas, following the college’s Sept. 15 census. “We are getting the Fort Lewis College message out there better than we ever have before, and young people are responding.”
Overall enrollment, however, is down about 2 percent to 3,692 for 2015, officials said in a news release. The school partly attributes the decrease to a smaller group of continuing students.
Transfer students were also lower, a “ripple effect of lower enrollment at Colorado’s community colleges over the past few years,” the statement said.
But school officials were uplifted by FLC’s retention rate, which measures the percentage of freshmen who stay after their first year. The percentage increased from 60 to 64 percent.
Diversity also grew, with Native American students jumping 5.6 percent, while Hispanic students went up by 2.6 percent. African American students also increased, representing 1.2 percent of the FLC student population, double the percentage for La Plata County, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The top three majors declared this year were business administration, which saw an enrollment increase of 5 percent to 415 majors; engineering, which increased more than 8 percent to 245 majors; and psychology, up 4 percent to 234 majors.