(Abilene, Texas) -- Hardin-Simmons University reported increases in several key categories for fall 2017. HSU's fall 2017 enrollment marks the university's largest total enrollment since 2012 and the largest freshmen class since 2008. HSU also recorded the highest retention rate of freshmen returning for the second year.
The total enrollment climbed to 2,252 students in fall 2017, compared to 2,205 in fall 2016. It marked the university's highest total enrollment since 2012, when the university enrolled 2,301 students. The size of the freshman class for fall 2017 is 458, compared to 393 in fall 2016 and 473 in fall 2008.
In fall 2017, HSU also recorded the highest retention rate of freshmen returning for the second year. The retention rate for freshmen returning for the second year reached 75 percent in fall 2017, compared to 71 percent in fall 2016. The fall retention rate was the highest in the university's history.
"We are encouraged about HSU's fall 2017 enrollment and retention numbers," said HSU President Eric Bruntmyer. "These increases reflect significant efforts by our faculty and staff in continuing HSU's 127-year commitment to providing academically engaging Christian Higher Education."
Bruntmyer said the university is privileged to join with students starting their journey at HSU.
"What's important to remember is that each student represented in these numbers bears the image of God and the capacity to change the world," he said. "Our hope is that every student will graduate from HSU with minds prepared, hands equipped, and hearts open to meeting the needs of their community, country, and world."
Bruntmyer added that the entire region often benefits when enrollment increases.
"Any increases in student population is always beneficial to the Abilene community," he said. "From undergraduate students shopping in stores to graduate students who start families and join the local workforce, the growth of Abilene's universities is the seed of opportunity for the future of our community."
About Hardin-Simmons University
Hardin-Simmons University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university located in Abilene, Texas. Founded in 1891, HSU offers more than 85 versatile undergraduate and graduate degree programs. As a fully accredited university, HSU is dedicated to academic excellence shaped by a distinctive Christian perspective. The University offers distinguished schools of Fine Arts, Liberal Arts, Sciences and Mathematics, Nursing, Human Sciences and Educational Studies, Theology, and Business as well as being home to the Logsdon Seminary. HSU was voted as one of the "Best Western" universities by Princeton Review (2017) and ranked as one of the best "Regional Universities West" by US News & World Report (2017).