Pfeiffer University reports record enrollment for second consecutive year

Published 9:00 am Friday, September 28, 2018

After welcoming one of the largest incoming classes in recent history for the 2017-2018 academic year, Pfeiffer University continues to grow.

The 2018-2019 incoming undergraduate class has increased 10 percent over the previous year and is up 50 percent in a two-year comparison. In the same two-year comparison, overall enrollment on the Misenheimer campus has risen by 18 percent.

The Honors College class is at full capacity for the second year in a row.

Pfeiffer University President Colleen Perry Keith attributes the growth of the incoming class to a change in the recruitment process.

“Two years ago, Pfeiffer began recruiting prospective students and their families differently,” Keith said. “Our work in marketing along with how we are managing communication with prospective students is effective in sharing the advantages of choosing Pfeiffer for one’s college experience. Back to back record numbers in our entering class is evidence that we are on the right track.”

Enrollment numbers are not the only statistics on the rise.

The student population at Pfeiffer University includes individuals from 27 states and 21 countries. Campus visits and the number of student applications have seen a dramatic increase.

“We are blessed to have an experienced admissions team,” says Emily Carella, director of undergraduate admissions. “Momentum was high coming off a record-setting year, and with that confidence, we were able to deliver another amazing class. You could not ask for a better admissions team. The collaboration between admissions and athletics is the best I’ve seen in my professional career. We all work really well together.”

The unprecedented growth at Pfeiffer has not come without its challenges. On-campus residence has risen 22 percent in two years.

Renovations to residence halls had to be completed to accommodate the increasing number of students living on campus. Plans to improve student facilities are ongoing, and the number of campus events has increased in efforts to enhance the overall student experience.

As the rising trend in enrollment continues so will the demands put on the university.

Regina Simmons, director of residence life, is already planning for the next class of students.

“This year we had to change residence hall designations to help manage the shift in the gender,” she said. “We had a heavier balance toward men in the past; this year, that shifted dramatically toward women. We anticipate next year’s population will be similar. We will need to add necessary beds to campus to meet this demand.”

Despite the challenges, the positive impact of Pfeiffer’s growth can be seen on campus and in the surrounding communities.

Kim Bryant, general manager of McDonald’s in Richfield, says: “We see an immediate increase in sales once students are back in the village. We look forward to having the students back on campus each year.”

Stacy Allman, unit director at Bojangles, agrees.

“I’m always glad when Pfeiffer comes back,” Allman said, which is something Keith is proud to hear.

“It’s evident that Pfeiffer’s success translates throughout the community,” Keith said. “We look forward to growing with our neighbors.”