HU works hard to keep enrollment figure steady

Huntington University officials say their efforts to make an HU education more affordable are showing results in the 2012-13 school year.

The university reports 956 full-time undergraduate students this year - up slightly from last year's enrollment of 954 students.

The new student class this year has 292 students, compared to 291 last year.

The total head count for all students this fall is 1,206.

"Huntington is pleased to report a slight increase in our full-time undergraduate enrollment for the fall semester given the challenging climate that higher
education is experiencing right now," said Jeff Berggren, senior vice president for enrollment management and marketing. "There are lots of factors for the increase, but at the core, it involves a caring faculty and staff who have worked hard to help our students be successful here at HU."

The Loan Repayment Program provides Huntington students with assistance in paying their loans after graduation.

If a graduate's annual salary is below $20,000, the program will reimburse the graduate for the entire amount of the loan payments. As the graduate's income grows to $36,000 the benefit is reduced proportionally.

HU piloted the program four years ago. This year, nearly 40 percent of the undergraduate student body are participating in the program.

"The entire freshmen class and a number of the new transfer students this fall are covered by the program," Berggren said. "We know the program is assisting with our current student success results, but what is very encouraging are the stories we are hearing from our graduates who are now experiencing the benefits of the Loan Repayment Program in the form of quarterly reimbursements of their student loan payments."

The university also increased its financial aid funding.
Increased merit scholarships in academic programs and expanded need-based grants are helping to offset the economic difficulties many families are facing.

More than 90 percent of Huntington students receive some sort of financial aid.

The Huntington University Graduate School saw an increase in its counseling program this fall. Enrollment in the master's degree program increased to 52 students this fall, compared to 37 students last year.

The university enrolled 38 international students from 19 countries and 61 minority students. Total, they comprise 10 percent of the undergraduate population.