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Enrollment hits high point with incoming class

September 28, 2009
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Gallaudet’s Office of Institutional Research reports a total enrollment of 1,870 students for the fall semester-an increase of 243 students from the same time last year. All areas of enrollment increased: professional studies enrollment increased by 106 percent; graduate student enrollment is up by 6 percent; and undergraduate enrollment is up by 11 percent. Gallaudet also achieved a 75 percent retention rate for first year students this fall–one of the highest retention figures in the University’s history.  

“Increased enrollment didn’t happen by chance,” said Associate Provost Catherine Andersen. “This huge gain is a credit to our strategically designed initiatives and to many, many hard working and caring individuals who know about the value and life-changing impact of a Gallaudet degree, so they worked hard to get students here and keep them!”  

“Three hundred bright and eager new students have arrived on campus to join the Gallaudet Family!” said Enrollment Management Dean Margery Miller of this year’s new undergraduates. “It is exciting to see that Gallaudet University is attracting and retaining an outstanding group of undergraduate students.” She said much of the credit for the 35 percent increase in new undergraduate degree-seeking enrollment goes to the Enrollment Management Team. “Through the team’s hard work, dedication, personalized service, and the use of a Strategic Enrollment Plan, the University was able to increase the number of first-year students (freshmen and transfer students) who will benefit from a Gallaudet education by an additional 70 students compared with last year,” she said. “How fortunate for these students that they ‘found’ Gallaudet; how fortunate for us that we ‘found’ 300 new outstanding students to add to the already amazing group of students continuing their education at Gallaudet. It is a privilege to work with each and every one of them.”  

The fall enrollment figure for graduate students was also well received. “Thanks to the hard work of the Graduate Admissions office and all of the departments with graduate programs, overall graduate enrollment increased by 6 percent,” said Graduate School and Professional Programs Dean Carol Erting. “In addition, because the number of applications to graduate programs was up 5 percent from last year, our graduate programs were able to be even more selective.” Dr. Erting also pointed to the results of the 2009 Incoming Graduate Student Survey, in which 95 percent of the respondents said the reputation of their Gallaudet graduate program was very important in choosing to come to the University, as a positive sign that the University’s graduate programs are doing a good job in preparing students for their careers. “We are very proud of our continuing success,” said Erting, “and in the coming years we will be expanding our offerings so that even more students will be able to take advantage of a Gallaudet graduate degree.”  

While the news of increased enrollment is encouraging, it is not a signal that the University can be complacent: Even though Gallaudet exceeded its enrollment goal of 1740 (as noted in the University’s Government Performance and Results Act Report), the University needs to remain vigilant in its efforts to retain students and provide them the services they need to graduate and find a career in their major. Gallaudet’s undergraduate first-time, full-time cohort graduation rate was 39 percent last year; and the goal is a 50 percent graduation rate by 2015 according to the Long Range Strategic Plan. “Nationwide, enrollment administrators have to constantly keep their eye on the changing landscape,” said Dr. Andersen. “One can never take anything for granted and a strong healthy enrollment requires doing great things even greater.”  

Institutional Research has provided the following statistics that define Gallaudet’s student body at the start of the 2009-2010 academic year:   


  • 1,870 total enrollment (undergraduate and graduate degree-seeking students and those not seeking degrees, and professional studies students)
  • 429 graduate students (408 degree-seeking students and 21 who are not seeking degrees)
  • 1,145 undergraduates (1,055 seeking degrees and 90 not seeking degrees)
  • 296 professional studies students (who aren’t already enrolled as graduate or undergraduate students)
  • 1,574 undergraduate and graduate students, both seeking degrees and not seeking degrees (including English Language Institute enrollment)
  • 1,463 degree-seeking students (1,055 undergraduates and 408 graduates)
  • 111 students not seeking degrees (90 undergraduates and 21 graduates)
  • Of the 90 undergraduates not seeking degrees, 28 are undergraduate special students and 62 are ELI students


Gender Diversity

  • 60 percent of undergraduate and graduate degree-seeking students are female and 40 percent are male
  • 53 percent of undergraduates are female and 47 percent are male
  • 79 percent of graduate students are female, 21 percent are male, and 1 percent are unknown


  • 131 international students:
  • 86 seeking degrees (30 graduates and 56 undergraduates)
  • 45 not seeking degrees (40 English Language Institute and five special students-three graduates and two undergraduates)
  • 39 countries represented
  • Countries with the largest representation are Canada, Japan, China, Saudi Arabia, and Nigeria. Canada has the top representation with 32 percent


  • 6 percent (86) of degree-seeking students are international students
  • Of the 1,377 U.S. degree-seeking students:
  • 2 percent are American Indian/Alaska Native
  • 4 percent are Asian
  • 8 percent are Hispanic/Latino
  • 12 percent are African American
  • 72 percent are White
  • 2 percent are unknown/unspecified


  • Of the degree-seeking U.S. students:
  • 47 states and three districts/territories represented
  • Top representation is from Maryland, California, Washington, D.C., New York, Virginia, Florida, Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey


  • Of the degree-seeking undergraduate students:
  • 2 percent are under 18
  • 26 percent are 18-19
  • 23 percent are 20-21
  • 25 percent are 22-24
  • 13 percent are 25-29
  • 11 percent are 30-64
  • Of the degree-seeking graduate students:
  • 1 percent are 21 and younger
  • 26 percent are 22-24
  • 35 percent are 25-29
  • 38    percent are 30-64

  Cochlear Implant Use

Of all undergraduate, graduate, and ELI students, 5 percent reported that they have cochlear implants



28 September 2009


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