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Bluffton University first-year and graduate numbers are on the rise

Bluffton University is seeing gains in areas such as out-of-state enrollment and graduate enrollment. The number of full-time students enrolled at Bluffton, including both undergraduate and graduate programs, is 664.

“Most higher education institutions are starting to see the effects of the ‘enrollment cliff’ that is predicted to be at its highest in 2025,” said Robin Bowlus, vice president of advancement and enrollment management. “I am glad to say despite this dip, Bluffton’s total enrollment has remained steady, with increases in many areas.”

The first-year class is comprised of 190 traditional undergraduate students and is up from 172 a year ago. Sixty-eight of the first-year students are from out of state, double the number from 2022-23. They represent a total of 17 states including students from California, Texas and South Carolina. Popular majors for this year’s first-year class include business administration, sport management, exercise science, pre-med and pre-professional programs, and education. The class average GPA is 3.22 with two dozen first-year students at or above a 4.0. Sixteen students also transferred to Bluffton. Full-time enrollment for the 2023-24 academic year is down a bit after a few strong years.

On the graduate side, 54 new students are enrolled, a 50 percent increase over the previous year and the highest number in at least the last five years. This is due in part to the addition of new graduate programs in social work and dietetics alongside longstanding graduate programs in business and education. 

Now that census day, the day of the official enrollment count at a college or university, has passed all enrollment efforts are fully focused on the entering class of 2024.

“Recruiting for the next class at Bluffton University is well underway with the number of prospective students in the enrollment funnel is nearly double that of the 2021 enrollment class, which had our highest enrollment in the last seven years,” said Bowlus.

Bluffton University offers more than 90 majors, minors and programs for undergraduate students. Bluffton also offers graduate programs in business administration (MBA), dietetics (MND), education (MAEd), organizational management (MAOM) and social work (MSW).