Wartburg College is reporting its largest enrollment in six years.

Figures released by Wartburg officials show there are 1,525 full-time students taking classes on the Waverly campus this fall, the most since 2014. A year ago, the college reported 1,462 full-time students.

The total headcount, which also includes students enrolled part-time, is 1,564 this year. That’s an increase of 59 over 2019.
According to a press release, 512 new full-time students entered the college in 2020, up 76 from last year.

“New students wanted to enjoy our special Wartburg community experience, and our returning students wanted to be on campus and engaged in their academics and co-curricular activities,” said Edith Waldstein, vice president for enrollment management. “And we welcomed all of them with open arms! Our Admissions team and the entire Wartburg campus community was hitting on all cylinders to bring about this increased enrollment.”

News of Wartburg's higher numbers comes at a time when education leaders are concerned that the coronavirus pandemic might be negatively affecting enrollment at colleges and universities of every size across the nation.

Wartburg’s minority enrollment also continues to hold strong, with 199 U.S. students of color currently enrolled at the college. Among those are a record-setting 72 Hispanic students, Wartburg officials said.

“Improvement around serving our multicultural students has long been a topic of conversation within Pathways and across campus,” said Derek Solheim, Pathways Center director. “It certainly takes a village to retain students in today’s competitive environment, and we are fortunate to have dedicated people across our campus who contribute to student success.”

Overall retention at Wartburg increased slightly to 87.6 percent, with the most significant increase coming between the first and second year, which was up to 83 percent, the highest it’s been since 1997. According to figures in the press release, Retention for international students at Wartburg sits at 93 percent.

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