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ACU achieves record enrollment for fourth year in a row


New students learn ACU traditions during Wildcat Week. This year's incoming class has an average high school GPA of 3.54, includes two National Merit Finalists, and represents a 30% increase over last year in out-of-state and international students.

For the fourth consecutive year, a record number of students enrolled for the fall semester at Abilene Christian University: 5,334 students.

As was the case last year, a significant part of the enrollment increase is through ACU Dallas, the branch campus home of the university’s online degree programs. ACU Dallas launched multiple undergraduate programs last year designed for non-traditionally aged students, and undergraduates now constitute 23% of its online enrollment.  

Overall graduate enrollment – both residential and online – contributed to the increase as well. A Doctor of Occupational Therapy program launched this fall, the fourth doctoral program to be offered at ACU, alongside 35 master’s degree programs.

“Seeing our total enrollment continue to climb demonstrates that we’re meeting the needs of students in a variety of educational settings during a challenging time for higher education,” said Dr. Phil Schubert, ACU president. “This represents significant effort and intentionality on the part of faculty, staff and administration, who continue to adapt and excel.”

Schubert also believes Abilene Christian’s continued presence among U.S. News & World Report national rankings – particularly those related to benchmarks regarding student success – makes a difference. 

“To have four straight consecutive years of record enrollment and in 2020-21, our best fundraising year ever, makes a statement about the confidence students, donors and other stakeholders have in ACU,” Schubert said.

This year’s Abilene entering freshman class is an academically strong cohort with 82.9% in the top half of their high school class, 54.9% in the top 25% of their high school class, and an average high school GPA of 3.54. The class also includes two National Merit Finalists and represents a 30% increase over last year in out-of-state and international students.

Fall 2021 Quick Facts

Total enrollment: 5,334
Undergraduate students: 3,560
Graduate students: 1,774
Abilene campus: 3,554
ACU Dallas: 1,780
International students: 173
Ethnic diversity of the student body: 42.7%
Entering freshmen: 872
Transfer students: 195 

— Wendy Kilmer

Sept. 8, 2021

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