On Monday, Nov. 11, Eastern University held an open house for potential undergraduate students. So, what is the current state of Eastern University Admissions? What are the requirements to attend Eastern? And what trends do we see in recent years in enrolling students?
I had the chance to sit down this past week with EU Admissions’ own Ben Krentzman. Krentzman is the Associate Director of Admissions for Recruitment. When I asked Krentzman about minimum academic requirements for admission to Eastern, he said that Eastern does not look at admissions in such a black and white way. Eastern is interested in bringing in students who can “handle a college workload” but that are also interested in Christian servant leadership and individual faith formation. GPAs, Krentzman noted, are not good indicators of who a person actually is. Something might have happened in a person’s life that drastically affected their high school grades; that does not mean they are not meant for university.
As far as numbers go, last year, Fall 2018, Eastern newly enrolled 381 students (first years & transfers). This is consistent with the last four years as Eastern has enrolled between 356 students (Fall 2017) and 428 students (Fall 2016). This year, Krentzman tells me, EU is ahead of pace having already admitted 436 students to the University. Last year at this time, they had only admitted 317 and the year prior 395 (Note the difference between admitted and enrolled. These students have been accepted; they are not committed to Eastern). Krentzmen tells me there are many reasons for this increase. One is Eastern’s Fast Pass program, which is starting to get recognition by high school students who want to finish in three years, as well as new financial aid opportunities which help make university more affordable for students. So, perhaps we will also see a spike in enrollment.
Also, it is important to note what kind of students are enrolling at Eastern. Religiously, students enroll at Eastern from all major Christian sects including Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Protestant denominations. Evangelical and Independent Churches hold the top spot, with between 82 (Fall 2016) and 107 (Fall 2018) students enrolling each year. Interestingly, for a Protestant university, the next highest numbers come from Roman Catholics. In Fall 2016, 60 Catholic students enrolled in the university and in Fall 2018, 57 Catholic students enrolled. After that, we have many different types of Baptists (Eastern’s historical denominational alignment) enrolling between 41 (Fall 2017) and 50 (Fall 2015) students each year.
Ethnically, while the largest portion of students enrolling at Eastern are white (45%-50%), over the last four years, Eastern also has had relatively diverse enrollment. As many as 165 (26.3%) Hispanic students (Fall 2016) have enrolled in the last four years and as many as 128 (22%) African American students (Fall 2018).
Looking at the trends in Eastern’s admissions can tell us a great deal about the current state of Eastern University and its future. One important thing this data shows us is that for a small liberal arts university, it is relatively diverse both in terms of Christian denominations and in terms of ethnicity. This has been, in past years, one of Eastern’s strong suits. It appears it will continue to be.
Sources: Eastern University: Office of Institutional Planning and Effectiveness, Office of Admissions