Ferris State University announced that its Fall 2014 numbers stand at 14,600 students – including 9,957 on its main campus in Big Rapids.
This fall’s enrollment figures for the university are essentially flat compared to last year, with a slight decline of less than 1 percent. Total headcount fell by 107 students from Fall 2013’s figure of 14,707 while the student population on main campus is down by 202. Statewide enrollment is up by 29, to 2,222 students.
Dean of Enrollment Services Kristen Salomonson noted that the changing demographics of Michigan and neighboring Midwest states indicated that enrollment gains, particularly with traditional students, would be a challenge.
“As a University, we seek balance in growth and ability for our academic and service infrastructure to maintain high quality,” Salomonson said. “At our core, Ferris is committed to small classes taught by professors, excellent academic programs and student-centered services.”
Paul Blake, interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, sees this fall’s enrollment numbers as an opportunity for the university to focus on ways to best serve current and future students, academically and socially.
“Given statewide trends, our numbers are not surprising,” he said. “The relatively small decline in headcount and student credit hours numbers allow us an opportunity to consider and reconsider programming, productivity, and recruiting strategies.”
Vice President for Student Affairs Jeanine Ward-Roof is excited to welcome this newest class of students to Ferris. She emphasized that the work of faculty and staff to recruit and retain a strong student population for the Fall 2014 semester.
“Our faculty and staff welcome all of our new students to the Ferris community. We are excited that they have chosen to become Bulldogs,” she said. “We have many talented faculty, staff and students on our campus who work diligently to enroll students who are excited to be a part of the learning that is embraced by our Ferris community. When reviewing the demographics of our incoming class, one can see that their efforts have been successful.”
Salomonson noted that this year’s incoming class would be the university’s most diverse ever with increases in Hispanic (49), students of two or more races (43), international (35) and African American (10) populations. She added that the percentage of non-white students grew 1-percent to 18-percent from last fall. Salomonson also observed a 9.7-percent growth in the number of students enrolled in online courses.
Ferris is a four-year public university with campuses in Big Rapids, Grand Rapids and satellite campuses across the state of Michigan. Ferris offers more than 180 educational programs, including doctorates, master's, bachelor's and associate degrees, through eight academic colleges: Arts, Sciences and Education, Business, Education and Human Services, Engineering Technology, Health Professions, Kendall College of Art and Design, Michigan College of Optometry and Pharmacy.