Record-breaking freshman class increases overall university enrollment

<p>Ball State welcomed 21,998 students this semester which is&nbsp;the third-largest student body in 20 years.<em> Samantha Brammer // DN File</em></p>

Ball State welcomed 21,998 students this semester which is the third-largest student body in 20 years. Samantha Brammer // DN File

Other statistical highlights about this year’s classes include:

  • More than 19 percent of new domestic freshmen are from underrepresented minority groups, ahead of the 17 percent strategic plan goal.
  • 17.5 percent of new students are from outside Indiana.
  • The average SAT for the new freshman class is 1611, above the national average.
  • The total of new undergraduate transfers to the main campus is 796, up 28 from last year. This is the second-largest transfer class in the last 20 years.

Information from 

The Class of 2020 is already breaking records at Ball State.

This year, the university welcomed 21,998 students, the third-largest student body in 20 years. This number also includes the third-largest class of freshmen in history.

The freshman class totals to 3,911 — 384 more students than last year, according to Kay Bales, vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services and dean of students. The largest freshman class in the university’s history was in 1997, when 3,980 students enrolled.

Enrollment has been climbing for years, with this freshman class surpassing the highest relative freshman enrollment count for the 2011 freshman class by 67 students.

Along with enrollment, the academic standards of the university have only increased — making the class of 2020 that much more remarkable in light of recent class sizes.

The average GPA of incoming freshman is 3.45, with 71 percent of students possessing an Academic Honors Diploma or equivalent, which shows an 8 point rise since 2012. The average SAT score among the class is 1611, which is well over the national average of 1490, according to

In addition, minority students now make up 19.14 percent of the freshman class, exceeding the university’s strategic goal of 17 percent. This is the largest percentage in the last five years, and since 2011, the numbers have risen 6.94 percent.

Retention for fall 2015 freshmen reached 81 percent, the third consecutive year the university has surpassed the strategic plan goal of 80 percent, according to

“The quality and diversity of this class reflects the great work that occurs each day by faculty, staff and students who not only tell, but live, the Ball State story,” Bales said in a press release. “That means engaging in entrepreneurial learning and leadership development, and getting involved and giving back to our communities.”

The university’s appeal is different for each student. For freshman theatre studies major Kalee McCuller, the ease of the application process along with the school’s theatre program drew her to Ball State.

“I’ve always loved theatre. Theatre is my passion, and when I looked up good theatre schools, Ball State was on the list,” McCuller said. “[The application process] was also really easy and quick. It was easy, just really relaxed, which was so nice, compared to some of the others which scare the crap out of kids."

The incoming class is just further evidence that the university remains on a positive, steady trajectory, interim president Terry King said.

“We continue to recruit great students and excellent faculty and staff members, and we are in a good place,” King said in a press release. “And as our alumni recently reminded us, we have done, and we’ll continue to do, the important work of providing students a great foundation upon which they can build a happy, successful life.”


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