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Association of Adventist Colleges and Universities Reports on 2022 Consolidated Enrollment

Story by Stephen Payne

The Association of Adventist Colleges and Universities (AACU), which is composed of the presidents and other top leadership from 13 Seventh-day Adventist colleges and universities in North America, reports the latest consolidated enrollment numbers for 2022.

Gordon Bietz, executive director for AACU, shares, “At our latest meeting in October 2022, the AACU presidents from North America voted to make some of this most recent data public to inform and engage our key stakeholders and constituencies.”

The consolidated 2022 fall enrollment for AACU institutions totals 21,021 students, a decrease of 151 students, or 0.7% less than the previous year. Altogether, the combined program offerings of AACU institutions represent nearly 400 unique degrees and certificates at campuses that provide a safe harbor for students seeking a faith-based university education.

In the overall undergraduate enrollment numbers, new freshmen saw a positive year-to-year increase of 6.1%, going from 2,360 in 2021 to 2,504 in 2022. The graduate students also saw an increase of 2.9%, moving from 6,014 to 6,190.

AACU began tracking undergraduate transfer numbers over the last three school years, including fall 2020. Between fall 2020 and fall 2022, transfer student numbers grew by 11.5% (1,344 in 2020 and 1,498 in 2022).

“We are encouraged by the overall increases in graduate enrollment and this year’s growth in new freshmen numbers following the last two years of enrollment decreases in the face of COVID-19," states Weymouth Spence, president of AACU and Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Md. “We are excited and hopeful about the future of Adventist Higher Education in North America and the Adventist Association of College and Universities. ... The Adventist Enrollment Association are seeking collaborative strategies to grow overall enrollments and build stability for our member institutions.”

As AACU leaders share this annual update, they wish to directly appeal to students, families, church leadership and other key stakeholders to join in this important conversation for the higher education system and the students it inspires and educates for successful careers and meaningful lives of Christian service.

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