At a time when several universities are seeing enrollment declines, Hannibal-La Grange University is enjoying a dramatic increase.
That's especially true when it comes to incoming freshman and transfer students. Enrollment for first year students jumped 11 percent.
Officials at HLGU are thrilled with the latest numbers, especially since enrollment has leveled off in recent years. Students spoke out and said what attracted them to campus.
"If the environment was still the same without Christ being the center, then I would've chosen it, but I feel like without Christ, it wouldn't be the same environment," said HLGU Freshman Arielle Willis.
"Really doing the campus visit. That's when I made my decision. Because it's like a home away from home here," Deandre Jackson, an HLGU Transfer student, said.
Whether it's for religion or comfort, both Willis and Jackson are apart of the 11% increase in first year students at HLGU. Arielle is on an academic scholarship and Deandre is on an academic and athletic scholarship. Something that played a big factor when making his choice to come to campus.
"It helped me tremendously. So being able to come here with some scholarships was a huge blessing," Jackson said.
HLGU increased the number of scholarships they give out three years ago. And Vice President of Enrollment Management Ray Carty said they're just now seeing the impact. But Carty said the whole University has come together to make this happen.
"Our faculty have become a bit more part of our recruitment process with the prospective students. They've just come to know them a bit more and are a bit more involved," said Carty.
And for Jackson, that involvement made all the difference.
"I'm a transfer student, so I've been to college before, and the teachers and the staff is with the students they were kinda distance but here they make everyone feel important," Jackson said.
In addition to providing new scholarships and staff being more involved with students, Carty said the increase in academic programs and the enhancement of athletic programs also contributed to a higher enrollment.
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