Undergraduate college leads enrollment increase at Fresno Pacific University
The traditional undergraduate program at Fresno Pacific University continues to attract larger numbers of academically well-prepared students from diverse ethnic backgrounds, contributing to strong enrollment throughout the university’s three schools.
Total enrollment was 1,714 students as of September 18, compared to 1,699 for the same date in 1999. This year there are 830 in Fresno Pacific College, which serves mainly traditional-age college students, 808 in Fresno Pacific Graduate School’s first fall term and 76 in the Center for Degree Completion, part of Fresno Pacific School of Professional Studies. Combined enrollment at the same time in 1999 was 1,699, with 780 in the college, 805 in the graduate students and 113 in the CDC.
September 18 is the official date for undergraduate college enrollment but only a “snapshot” for the graduate school and CDC. The graduate school has a second fall session beginning late in October as well as a very active summer session, and the CDC, which helps working adults earn bachelor’s degrees, starts classes all through the year.
The growth in the college from 602 students in fall 1997 to 830 in fall 2000 is a 38 percent increase. Academic standards remain strong as the average grade-point average among incoming students this fall was 3.56 for new freshmen and 3.15 for transfers and the average GPA for the entire incoming classes has been 3.5 for the past four years.
Average SAT scores for the top 25 percent of incoming students have also been above 1,256 for the last four years. “Our top 25 percent are what you’d find at the University of California Riverside or Santa Barbara,” said Stephen Varvis.
At the same time racial and ethnic diversity has increased among college students. The percentage of students of color (not including international students) in each incoming class went from 22 percent in fall 1995 to 30 percent in fall 2000. Since enrollment grew over the same period, this is a double gain because it is an increasing percentage of an increasing number.
Fresno Pacific University is an accredited Christian university. Located on a 42-acre, park-like campus in southeast Fresno, FPU has an annual enrollment of about 1,800 students -- half in graduate programs and half in undergraduate. The university also enrolls 12,000 students annually in its professional development studies programs offered locally and throughout the world.