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McPherson College Achieves Milestones In Enrollment, Fundraising

McPherson College had a great year in 2015-2016, in just about any category one chooses to consider – enrollment, retention, and finances to name a few.

President Michael Schneider said the year’s success resulted from a community effort.

“The last two years we’ve made a real effort to work on our big challenges as a community,” Schneider said. “The campus owned the work and you can see the results this fall.”

For starters, McPherson College exceeded goals for recruiting new students and retention of existing students.

Christi Hopkins, vice president for enrollment management, said that a trend of growing enrollment has continued. On opening day this year, McPherson College had more than 700 total degree-seeking students – about 50 more total students than last year. In addition, McPherson College has more than 1,500 students in its continuing education programs.

It was also an outstanding year of recruiting first-year freshmen. MC continues to eclipse 40-year highs, with about 200 first-time freshmen in the class of 2020.

Along with these achievements, Hopkins said the college should be particularly proud of an increase in first-time freshman retention. First-time freshman retention is up 14 percentage points compared to 2015-2016, as the result of changes to retention efforts.

“MC enrollment is up because more students chose to come back.” Hopkins said. “The entire campus focused on first-time freshman retention the past few years. There wasn’t one person or office that we looked at to meet our retention goals. Retention has become the work of the entire campus.”

McPherson College also had a great year in fundraising, surpassing its annual goal with more than $3 million in cash gifts received prior to the end of the fiscal year. Of the total, $1.43 million was unrestricted, supporting annual scholarships, internships, and other annual needs.

The college has also made significant progress on its current $14 million “Power the Future” comprehensive campaign, and is currently at more than two-thirds of reaching the overall campaign goal. This year’s support put the MC endowment at the $50 million mark, as the college continues to maintain the largest endowment among private colleges in Kansas.

These milestones are proving positive signs for everyone in the McPherson College community, as MC works toward its strategic vision of becoming one of America’s great small colleges.

“I’m proud of our campus’s progress this past year,” President Schneider said. “We appreciate our students who trust us with their education and the donors who support our mission.”