Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

September 21, 2000

Whitworth Enjoys Fifth Straight Year of Capacity Enrollment

A high yield of admitted students and continued strong freshman-sophomore retention rates produced Whitworth's fifth consecutive year of capacity enrollment. Official 10th-day figures released today show Whitworth enrolled 1,670 full-time undergraduate students for the fall semester, surpassing last year's record of 1,645 students. Total headcount enrollment is 2,026, down slightly from 2,034 last year.

Whitworth entered the 2000 recruiting season aiming for a freshman class of 375 students to achieve an overall enrollment of about 1,600 students. However, a higher-than-expected percentage of admitted students decided to enroll, resulting in the highest yield of admitted students in a decade and a freshman class of 404 students. The 2000 freshman class is just two students shy of Whitworth's largest freshman class ever, the 1994 class of 406 students.

"We're thrilled to see such a strong demand for a Whitworth education," says Registrar Gary Whisenand. "We place a premium on the rigorous, individualized educational experience a small college like Whitworth can provide, so we're working hard to maintain our enrollment and faculty-student ratio at optimal levels."

Whitworth's historically strong freshman-sophomore retention rate edged even higher in 2000 to 85 percent. The rising retention rate indicates a high level of student satisfaction, Whisenand says, but it also contributes added enrollment pressure. That was offset this year by a record six-year graduation rate of 66.5 percent. This figure measures the percentage of full-time freshman enrolled in a particular year that graduate within six years.

Whisenand credits the positive retention and graduate rate trends to effective recruiting and strong advising. A recent survey ranked Whitworth's freshman advising program as the best among the 76 schools in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.

"Students have high expectations for working with a faculty advisor to meet their educational goals," Whisenand says. "Whitworth faculty advisors meet regularly with their students, get to know them on a personal level and deliver the kind of attention and service that students really appreciate."

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The college offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.


Gary Whisenand, registrar, (509) 777-4313 or gwhisenand@whitworth.edu.

Greg Orwig, director of communications, (509) 777-4580 or gorwig@whitworth.edu.

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