Butler University announced Thursday that more than 1,200 first-year students started classes this week, an increase of more than 6% over last year. The school said the incoming class is the third-largest in university history.
Butler said with the dwindling number of seniors graduating from Indiana high schools over the past several years and attending college, it has put more emphasis on recruiting out-of-state students. The university said it invested more money into marketing and hiring admissions representatives.
“Butler University’s brand awareness and academic reputation are growing both regionally and nationally,” said Jerry Dueweke, director of admission. “There are a number of contributing factors, including a No. 1 ranking in U.S. News & World Report’s list of top Midwest Universities and the national exposure that comes with competing in the Big East [Conference in athletics].”
Butler said more than 53% of its incoming class is from out of state, including international students from 14 countries. Illinois sent the most students from out of state to Butler, with Michigan, Ohio, Missouri, Wisconsin, Colorado, Texas, Minnesota and California also among the top 10.
The freshman class also includes 549 Hoosiers, a 12% increase over last year.
The overall grade point average for the class is 3.89.
The university said the class is one of Butler’s most ethnically diverse, with nearly 18 percent self-identifying as a student of color or Hispanic. The most popular majors this year are Biology, Exploratory Studies, Pre-Pharmacy, Exploratory Business and Health Sciences.
Overall enrollment at Butler has remained steady over the past five years, at about 5,500.