With record-breaking numbers surrounding student enrollment, it is no wonder that Northwestern is topping the charts.
This year’s retention rate of returning freshmen was second to highest in school history at 80 percent, along with the largest entering freshmen class since 2006.
“That shows we are providing the kind of experience students anticipated they would receive,” Ron De Jong, Dean of Enrollment Services, said.
Apart from class standings, NW has intentionally sought cultural diversity with this year resulting in the college’s highest percentage of American ethnic minorities.
“Our staff has worked hard to recruit a more diverse student body,” De Jong said, “because we want all of our students to be prepared to be global citizens in this multicultural world.”
With 4,352 higher education institutions in the U.S., students are fortunate to be attending NW. Freshmen may not yet be familiar with everything that makes NW special, but returning students have plenty to say about why they like to “spread red.”
NW has garnered a reputation for excellence. “U.S. News & World Report” has ranked NW in the top ten Midwestern colleges for four consecutive years. “Washington Monthly” named NW the second-best baccalaureate college in the nation in 2010. While these accolades are greatly appreciated, they are not what matters most to returning students.
Integrating faith and learning is fundamental at NW, and returning students value this commitment.
“Professors open classes with devotions…and I can talk about my faith,” sophomore David Bruxvoort said.
Community also plays a role in returning students’ decision to attend NW. From meeting one-on-one with professors to holding wing devotionals, the opportunities to become a part of the NW community are endless.
“Community is why I keep coming here. That’s what I look for,” senior Jacob Gaster said.
Many returning students also appreciate the advantages of NW’s small size with 71 percent of classes having fewer than 20 students.
“Small class size is definitely a plus,” Bruxvoort said, “and it’s a liberal arts college, so it gives me the opportunity to take classes in my diverse interests.”