Morningside College enrollment increased 20 percent for the second year in a row with 1,722 full-time and part-time students for the fall semester, including the largest full-time, undergraduate enrollment since 1977.
Both full-time and part-time student enrollment contributed to the increase. Full-time, undergraduate enrollment rose 10 percent from 1,066 last year to 1,168 this year. The largest jump, however, was among graduate students, whose ranks grew from 291 to 490 this year, a 68-percent increase.
Among the student body are 403 new full-time students, including 71 transfer students and 332 first-year students. (Above, Morningside College Class of 2010 at Olsen Stadium)
The mean ACT score of the first-year freshmen class continues to climb, reaching 23 this year, up from 22 last year. Last year, 39 percent of first-year students were in the top 25 percent of their class; this year, 43 percent of the first-year students were in the top 25 percent.
“We are pleased that the freshman class academic profile continues its steady improvement,” said Morningside College President John Reynders, “and that this upward trend has been recognized by the U.S. News & World Report rankings, which recently reported an improvement in the ACT scores and high school class rankings of Morningside’s first-year students.”
The number of freshman merit scholarships awarded by Morningside increased as well, with 32 President’s Scholars and 165 Dean’s Scholars comprising nearly 60 percent of the class. The renewable, four-year scholarships are based on a combination of ACT score and high school class rankings.
Morningside’s first-year to second-year retention rate also leaped to 77 percent this fall, compared to 65 percent in 2005.
Reynders said, “The promise of an environment that cultivates a passion for life-long learning is being fulfilled by our faculty and staff. Students are realizing their opportunities here and returning to continue their Morningside experience.”
Diversity among full-time students on campus improved, with 82 students, or 7 percent, representing ethnic minorities, compared to 72 students last year.
A total of 18 full- and part-time students come from the following seven foreign countries: Albania, Canada, Germany, Ghana, Ireland, Japan, and Taiwan.
Students from Iowa and Nebraska comprise nearly 90 percent of the total full-time student body. Sioux City students account for 22 percent, with 46 percent coming from other areas of Iowa. Nebraska students make up another 19 percent. Students from 20 other states, some from as far away as California, Arizona, and Washington, represent the remaining 11 percent.