With classes starting in less than two weeks, Ball State is preparing for the possibility of breaking multiple records for fall enrollment.    

At the last Board of Trustees meeting, Kay Bales, vice president for student affairs and enrollment services, projected this year's total enrollment to reach 22,170 students, compared to 21,998 last year, the third-largest student body in 20 years.

"If we can surpass 22,147, then we will have established a record enrollment for the institution," Bales said. “We are working diligently to close and place that deal.”   

Bales said the university is estimating 16,945 students will be taking one or more courses on the main campus, while 5,224 will be enrolled off campus, primarily online this fall. These numbers include part time, full time, undergraduate and graduate students.

The number of confirmed freshman is 4,368 as of July 14, which is close to the largest freshman class in 19 years, breaking another institutional record. Last year the university welcomed 4,314 freshmen, the third-largest class of freshmen in history.

“I think that even if we don’t break last year’s record number, we will certainly be very close," Bales said. 

Facts about the incoming freshman class (as of July 14):

  • More than 800 incoming freshmen are out-of-state residents. The largest number of students come from Illinois, Ohio and Michigan. 
  • Average SAT score is 1,610, while the average ACT score is 23 
  • Average high school GPA is 3.5
  • 73 percent of incoming freshmen earned an academic honors diploma 

Within the past three years, the university has seen a stead increase in total numbers of applications. As of July 14, Ball State received 24,054 applications for enrollment, compared to 24,143 in 2016. In 2015, 21,945 applications were received compared to 17,903 the year before.

The total increase in numbers can be attributed to the variety of departments and programs offered at Ball State, Bales said, one of which being Teachers College’s undergraduate major in applied behavior analysis with an emphasis in autism, which was approved by the board in February.

With the projected increase in overall enrollment, at the last meeting trustee Matt Momper questioned if there were enough beds on campus for all the students.

“It looks like maybe 25 women will be in overflow space in Studebaker East," Bales said. "The reason for the overflow, truthfully, for women is that we just did not have enough women space … We are out of balance in terms of gender here."

Sections of the LaFollette Complex will be open to freshmen, even after this summer’s demolition of the Mysch/Hurst and Woody/Shales halls. 

Bales said the new Johnson B Complex will also be open to incoming students as the two-year long project wrapped up this summer. The residence hall houses over 500 beds (most are doubles) and is home to the Design and Theatre/Dance Living-Learning Community.   

RELATED:  Johnson B complex nearing completion for fall residents

Soon campus will see even more housing options open to incoming students as the board recently approved the first phase of the North Residential Neighborhood, outlined in the Campus Master Plan. This includes one new five-story residence hall, expected to be done by 2020. This will accommodate about 500 students, primarily freshmen, and serve as the home of the STEM Living-Learning Community. 

Though the university will not have final enrollment figures until early September, Bales said current success numbers can be attributed to collaboration between multiple departments, programs offered to students as well as the leadership across campus.