Enrollment Here Down Slightly From Last Fall

A freshman class that was smaller by design, coupled with declines in several graduate programs, resulted in 2.8 percent fewer University of St. Thomas students this fall.

In recent years the university has set as a freshman-class goal of about 1,300 to 1,350 students.  Last year’s freshman class of 1,521 was more than anticipated and resulted in record-high enrollments in several areas, including undergraduate enrollment and credit hours, overall credit hours and the number of students living on campus.

This year’s freshman class of 1,324 contributed to an overall undergraduate enrollment of 6,176, which is a decrease of 98 students or 1.6 percent.

Graduate-level enrollment of 4,358 is down 206 students or 4.5 percent from last year.

Overall, enrollment this fall is at 10,534, which is down 305 students or 2.8 percent.  The university’s peak enrollment of 11,570 was set in 2001. When St. Thomas opened in 1885, enrollment was 62.

Here are some other enrollment statistics found in the Official 10th Day Census that was published recently by the university’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

  • Credit hours, which represent the number of courses that students are taking, stand at 122,361, a drop of 1,682.5 or 1.4 percent from last year;
  • Undergraduates are taking a 91,859 credit hours, a drop of 942 or 1 percent;
  • Graduate students are taking 30,502 credit hours, down 740 or 2.4 percent;
  • Undergraduates comprise 59 percent of all St. Thomas students but account for 75 percent of the credit hours;
  • One out of four students is new to campus this fall and one in three is classified as part-time.
  • The number of students living on the St. Paul campus this fall is 2,610, which is down 76 from last year’s record of 2,686.
  • More than twice as many St. Thomas students come from Hennepin County (3,029) as from the next closest county, Ramsey (1,400). 

The percentage of students who are persons of color this fall stands at 13.8 percent; that is up from 13.2 percent last year and 10.7 percent in 2007.  The percentage of students of color is: 

  • 11.2 for freshmen, up from last year’s 10.3;
  • 13.8 for undergraduates;
  • 13.7 for graduate students.

These percentages would likely be higher if international students of color were included.  St. Thomas does not use the race of students from other countries when calculating the overall percentage of its students of color. This fall St. Thomas welcomed 329 students (including 31 freshmen) from other countries, which overall is up 29 from last year.

At a time when some colleges and universities are enrolling more women than men, the St. Thomas male-female ratio continues to show a near-even split. The percentage, 50.5 for men and 49.5 for women, has not changed much over the past decade.  For new freshmen, women outnumber the men this year by the margin of 52.07 percent to 47.93 percent.

Other characteristics of the freshman class:

  • They are coming from fewer high schools this year (391 compared to 417 last year) and states (24 compared to 33 last year);
  • The average class rank of 75 is unchanged;
  • The number who had perfect 4.0 high-school averages decreased from 166 last year to 145 this year  (in 2009 it was 130);
  • The average high school G.P.A. of 3.5 is unchanged;
  • The average ACT score of 25.72 is up from last year’s 25.49 and 25.42 in 2009.
  • Of those reporting a religious affiliation, 48 percent indicated they are Roman Catholic. That compares to 52.8 percent last year and 62 percent in 2009.

Overall, 41.8 percent of St. Thomas students indicated they are Roman Catholic this fall, which compares to 44.1 percent five years ago.  This year, 49.5 percent of undergraduates indicated they are Roman Catholic. That compares to 48.4 percent for a category called "first professional," which includes all law school students and a portion of graduate students from the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity.  For graduate students not in the first-professional category, 28.1 percent indicate they are Roman Catholic.

While enrollment is about the same at the undergraduate St. John Vianney Seminary, it is up at the graduate-level St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity. St. John Vianney, which opened here in fall 1968, has 135 seminarians this fall, down two from last year.  The School of Divinity welcomed 30 new seminarians this fall, bringing the number of men studying for the priesthood there to an even 100. That is the largest number since 1980.

The number of undergraduates who transferred to St. Thomas this fall is 262, down 16 from last year.

Enrollment on the university's St. Paul campus is 7,348, down 338 from last year. St. Thomas is limited to 8,750 students on its main campus under a Conditional Use Permit that was approved in 2004. The highest enrollment in St. Paul was 8,712 in 1991, the year before the university opened its Minneapolis campus.

Here’s the graduate-level enrollment and credit hours, and the percent change from last year, for St. Thomas’ colleges and schools:

Program Enrollment % Change from 2010 Credit hours % Change from 2010
College of Arts and Sciences 161 - 2.4 698 -0.9
Opus College of Business 1,330 -8.3 7,836 -7.3
School of Divinity 136 +13.3 1,578 +10.7
School of Education 1,076 -7.5 5,488 -4.6
School of Engineering 220 -11.3 940 -14.3
School of Law 491 +3.2 7,077 +3.4
School of Prof. Psych. 228 +0.4 1,545 +0.5
School of Social Work 365 -5.9 3,550 -7.6
Grad. Programs in
Software Engineering
351 +7.3 1,790 +13
Total 4,358 -4.5 30,502  -2.4

To learn more about information available from Institutional Effectiveness’ Academic Reporting Center, go to this Bulletin Today article.