Enrollment is up at Quincy University.

For Fall 2020, the university welcomed 321 new freshmen and transfer students to campus. Including all undergraduate and graduate students, the overall enrollment for the Fall 2020 academic term stands at 1,124, a modest increase from Fall 2019.   

“I am proud of the hard work of our faculty and staff to prepare for this new and highly unusual academic year,” said Brian McGee, PhD, president of Quincy University. “Students and their families have recognized the value of the educational experience at QU, with our continued commitment to in-class learning and a hands-on approach to student success. At the same time, we continue to emphasize community health and safety in these challenging times.”

During the summer months, the COVID-19 pandemic and global recession created unprecedented enrollment uncertainty for colleges and universities.  In response, Quincy University offered a “test-optional” solution for students unable to take standardized college entrance examinations like the SAT, instituted a two-year tuition lock for undergraduates and waived graduate admission testing and entrance fees. 

The university also worked over the summer to create a comprehensive plan for the return of students, faculty and staff to campus in August. As part of that plan, some courses moved online, while other classes moved into larger spaces on campus to allow for greater physical distance between students and faculty in classrooms and laboratories. For Fall 2020, over 70% of course sections at QU are being offered in an entirely face-to-face instructional format, consistent with the university’s goal of providing primarily in-person learning to its students. 

The fall enrollment numbers reflect the dedicated work of the admissions counselors, the commitment of faculty and staff, including athletic coaches, to student recruitment, and the impact of the university’s response to the pandemic. Along with increases in freshman and transfer enrollment, the university saw significant growth in its graduate enrollment, with a 12 percent increase compared to the previous academic year. 

In addition to the increase in enrollment, the retention rate for freshmen returning for the sophomore year is 73 percent, 5 percent higher than the previous year.  This is the highest retention rate at QU since the 2014-2015 academic year.

“This incoming class reflects the university’s ongoing commitment to recruiting students who are ideally matched to QU’s mission and educational quality,” said Tom Oliver, M.L.A., vice president of enrollment management.  “Our continued focus on academic and social fit in admission standards and new on-campus programming has provided a powerful catalyst for recent gains in student retention, providing stability and growth in uncertain times.  It is exciting to see how QU’s innovative Success by Design initiative is resonating with prospective students and their families.  The quality of QU’s academic offerings has never been stronger.”

Students were welcomed to campus with the university’s two new initiatives designed to help students in and out of the classroom. This fall will mark Quincy University’s first full year of its Success by Design initiative that provides each student with an individualized success plan along with a series of university-wide programs to help students graduate on time and be fully prepared for careers or further education. 

In addition, new students, including transfer and commuter students, have been assigned to individual houses in QU’s new house system. The university designed the house system to transform the student experience at the university, with each QU student becoming part of a close-knit house community.  Each house is named for an inspirational figure linked in some way to Quincy University and downstate Illinois. 

Faith Krabbe is a freshman elementary education major from Long Grove, Ill. Before coming to QU, she was unfamiliar with house systems. Krabbe is in the Cavallo House and is eager to meet new people. Building relationships is important to Krabbe and influenced her decision to attend QU. She was attracted to the small class sizes and welcoming community as well as the volleyball program. 

“I never wanted to go to a big university, so Quincy was a perfect size,” said Krabbe.  “Also, the coaching staff made me feel important, and some girls on the team helped to make my decision so much easier.”

Founded in 1860 by Franciscan friars, Quincy University (www.quincy.edu) is celebrating 160 years as a Catholic, co-educational, liberal arts, residential university. Quincy University offers undergraduate, graduate, and adult education programs that integrate liberal arts, active learning, practical experience, and Franciscan values. Faculty and advisors work with each student to design a customized success plan to help them graduate on time, find their passion and prepare them for life. Quincy University’s intercollegiate sports are members of the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference for men and women. For more information, please contact the Quincy University Office of Community Relations by calling (217) 228-5275. Quincy University. Success by Design.