In times when good news seems rare as a patch of blue in the Central Valley sky, Fresno Pacific University is celebrating its 2020-21 enrollment.
The university has 4,001 students as of the 11-day census released September 16, 2020. This translates into 1,680 in bachelor’s degree completion programs, 1,362 in graduate programs—including 143 at Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary—and 959 in traditional undergraduate programs. All but 52 of these students are full-time.
While this is a little less than last year’s 4,109, previous estimates had pointed to a larger deficit. “To be just above 4,000 students this fall seemed impossible just a few months ago,” said Jon Endicott, vice president for enrollment management. “I am thrilled by the numbers of students who enrolled as we pivoted to fully online instruction this fall. We surpassed last year’s graduate total and almost matched the all-time high in graduate programs from two years ago.”
Graduate enrollment even rose by 59 for 2020 from 2019’s 1,303. At this time last year the rest of the enrollment breakdown was 1,843 in degree completion and 963 in traditional undergraduate. The seminary had 157 students.
FPU went to virtual instruction at all its campuses—located in Merced, North Fresno, Southeast Fresno, Visalia and Bakersfield—due to COVID-19. Currently 71 students live on the main campus.
Credit goes to the staff in enrollment and campus life who worked hard to stay in touch with and accommodate students, as well as the faculty and coaches who have adapted FPU’s highly personal education to virtual instruction during the pandemic. “Your efforts have not gone unnoticed. Thank you for going above and beyond,” said Joseph Jones, Ph.D., president of FPU. “We also thank the students and their families who continued to have faith in FPU and recognize that even in our online format we are providing a transformative educational experience.”
Increasing pathways and partnerships with regional community colleges has been a big part of FPU’s enrollment success. “This will continue to be our most significant opportunity for growth,” Endicott said. Money has ranked FPU number 11 among its 50 Best Colleges for Transfer Students—the highest-rated Christian school on the list.