Fall colors on center campus at Andrews University. [PC: Laura Malcom]
“Engaging our key stakeholders and constituencies is very important to the AACU presidents,” said Andrea Luxton, executive director for AACU. “Making this most recent data public is part of our ongoing effort toward that goal.”
The consolidated 2023 fall enrollment for AACU institutions totals 20,573 students, an increase of 16 students from the previous year. Altogether, the combined program offerings of AACU institutions represent nearly 400 unique degrees and certificates at campuses that provide a safe harbor for students seeking a faith-based university education.
In the overall undergraduate enrollment numbers, new freshmen saw a positive year-to-year increase of 5.9 percent, going from 2,504 in 2022 to 2,651 this year. AACU began tracking undergraduate transfer numbers over the last three school years, including fall 2020. That population has been growing every year since then—1,344 in 2020 to 1,677 this year)—a 25% increase.
“We started to see a leveling off last year after a steady decline—most noticeably during Covid,” said Weymouth Spence, president of AACU and Washington Adventist University. “We’re encouraged and excited to see an upward trend, particularly among our new students. As this gives us hope for a bright future for Adventist higher education in North America, the Adventist Association of Colleges & Universities and the Adventist Enrollment Association will work even harder to seek collaborative strategies to grow overall enrollment and build stability for our member institutions.”
As we share this annual update, we wish to directly appeal to students, families, church leadership, and other key stakeholders to join us in this important conversation for our higher education system and the students it inspires and educates for successful careers and meaningful lives of Christian service.