Huntington University’s affordability key to enrollment

HUNTINGTON, Ind. Key initiatives to improve student retention and enrollment by making a Huntington University education more affordable are creating results in the 2012-13 school year.

Huntington's Loan Repayment Program and increased financial aid funding are showing a slight increase in undergraduate enrollment.

The university welcomed 956 full-time undergraduate students this year a slim rise over last year's 954 enrollment. The new student class this year also showed a small rise with 292 students compared to 291 last year. The total headcount for all students this fall is 1,206.

"Huntington is pleased to report a slight increase in our full-time undergraduate enrollment for the fall semester given the challenging climate that higher education is experiencing right now," said Jeff Berggren, senior vice president for enrollment management and marketing. "There are lots of factors for the increase, but at the core, it involves a caring faculty and staff who have worked hard to help our students be successful here at HU."

The Loan Repayment Program provides Huntington students with assistance in paying their loans after graduation. If a graduate's annual salary is below $20,000, the program will reimburse the graduate for the entire amount of their loan payments. As the graduate's income grows to $36,000 the benefit is reduced proportionally. Huntington piloted the program four years ago, and this year, it is serving nearly 40 percent of the undergraduate student body. Learn more at

"The Loan Repayment Program at Huntington continues to be a unique tool to assist our students in managing the financial investment they are making in their education. The entire freshmen class and a number of the new transfer students this fall are covered by the program," Berggren said. "We know the program is assisting with our current student success results, but what is very encouraging are the stories we are hearing from our graduates who are now experiencing the benefits of the Loan Repayment Program in the form of quarterly reimbursements of their student loan payments."

The university also increased its financial aid funding in order to lessen the burden in these hard economic times. Increased merit scholarships in academic programs and expanded need-based grants are helping to offset the economic difficulties many families are facing. More than 90 percent of Huntington students receive some sort of financial aid.

The Huntington University Graduate School saw dramatic increases in its counseling program this fall. Enrollment in the master's degree program increased to 52 students this fall compared to 37 students last year.

The university also enrolled 38 international students from 19 different countries and 61 minority students. Total, they comprise 10 percent of the undergraduate population.

Huntington strives to provide a high-quality, Christ-centered education to all of its students. For the fifth year in a row, the university was named one of the best colleges in the Midwest by The Princeton Review. Forbes ranked Huntington as one of "America's Top Colleges," landing the university seventh out of 18th public and private schools in Indiana. In 2011, U.S. News and World Report called Huntington one of the Top 10 Best Colleges in the Midwest and one of its best-value colleges in the Midwest. The 2012 results will be released on Sept. 12.