Millikin enrollment increase draws on Decatur, international students
Freshman enrollment numbers are up at Millikin University for the 2017-2018 academic year. Millikin welcomed 474 first-year students to campus for the fall 2017 semester, an increase of 26 freshman students.
Among the first-year students is Decatur, Ill., native Haley Vemmer, a mathematics-actuarial science major, who was the 2017 valedictorian at St. Teresa High School.
"It was the best decision I could have made," Vemmer said in a recent interview with the Herald & Review.
Vemmer said part of the reason she's so happy with her choice is how friendly everyone is on campus. "Someone's always going to say, 'How are you doing?'" she said. "If you ask somebody for help, they never say they're too busy."
The total number of new traditional students enrolled over the course of the year at Millikin has increased every year for the past four years. Millikin is on track to continue this trend for the 2017-2018 academic year.
This fall, Millikin University welcomed students from 25 different states as well as international students from several countries, including Nepal, Rwanda, South Korea, Vietnam and more.
"That's a direction we want to keep going," said Millikin President Dr. Patrick White. "We are growing in many ways with the opening of our 'new front door' on campus, the University Commons, as well as the many academic partnerships and initiatives that will exemplify the very essence of a Millikin education, Performance Learning."
President White said he thinks the reasons Millikin is seeing an increase include the university's Performance Learning focus, which gives students hands-on employment experience while learning, new facilities like the University Commons that make Millikin attractive, and the stats that show 99 percent of Millikin graduates get jobs within six months of graduation.
"That helps parents with the question of 'Is college worth it?'" President White said. "That was a big discussion maybe a decade ago. Some of that's died down now that people have seen how important it is to have an educated work force."
Millikin University is also seeing more students from Decatur and the surrounding area stay close to home. More than 50 students in the fall 2017 class are from Decatur.
Millikin has also seen a 30 percent increase in transfer, transient and readmitted students since fall 2014.
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