HU sees more returning sophomores

This year, Huntington University saw its highest freshman-to-sophomore retention rate in more than a decade, school officials say.

They attributed the achievement in part to freezing tuition and the university's Loan Repayment Program.
For 2012-13, the university saw a 73 percent retention rate. This year, that rate has jumped to 79.5 percent.

The university welcomed 943 traditional undergraduate students this fall, 110 adult students and 60 graduate students. The new student class this year is 267 with a total headcount of all students at 1,113.

At the beginning of the 2012-13 school year, HU had 292 new studens and a total head count of 1,206.

The HU Board of Trustees voted in January to freeze tuition for the 2013-14 school year. The university also continues to offer its Loan Repayment Program, which offers assistance to students with paying their loans after graduation.

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

Huntington piloted the program five years ago, and last year, it served nearly 40 percent of the undergraduate student body.

This year's student body represents 31 states, 21 countries and a wide range of ethnicities. Of the 943 undergraduate students, 42 are international students and 72 are ethnic minorities.

Overall, Huntington has the most diverse undergraduate student population both in terms of total numbers and percentage of enrollment in school history.