News & Events

Concordia University Chicago total enrollment sets historic record


Largest freshman class ever enrolls

Concordia University Chicago’s combined graduate and undergraduate enrollment reached an all-time historic record of 6,005 students this fall. A significant milestone for new incoming students was reached as the University welcomed its largest freshman class ever—395 students. The previous high enrollment for freshmen was in 2013 when 387 enrolled. The combined new freshman and transfer students set a historic record as well, with 512 enrolling.

“This is an amazing accomplishment for the University and is attributable to the high level of collaboration and coordination record student enrollmentamong all University departments,” said Rev. Dr. Daniel Gard, president of Concordia-Chicago. “Faculty and staff ensured a high level of personalization in all interactions with all our students—those returning to Concordia-Chicago and those who have chosen to enroll for the first time, either to pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree.”  

Concordia-Chicago has had a strong history of graduate enrollment growth for nearly two decades, initially at the master’s degree level and more recently as doctoral programs have expanded. Increasingly, doctoral students represent a rapidly growing segment of the graduate student population, growing at a rate of 10 percent per year, reaching 1,224 this fall. Graduate degrees offered in an online format are highly appealing, and 62 percent of new graduate students have chosen this format.

In, addition, annual undergraduate retention—the number of last year’s freshmen who returned as sophomores this fall—increased significantly from 67 to 74 percent, which contributed to overall University enrollment growth of 4.2 percent.

Eighty-eight percent of the undergraduates who reported their faith indicated a Christian denomination. CUC has also been named a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is recognized by U.S. News & World Report for Best Ethnic Diversity among Regional Universities in the Midwest.

“At a time when higher education has become increasingly competitive each year, and colleges and universities are challenged to meet enrollment goals, Concordia University Chicago is the college of choice for an increasing number of students,” said Evelyn Burdick, senior vice president for enrollment and marketing. “This historic enrollment is a testament to the institutional focus on the needs of our students and the intentional opportunities for them to be highly engaged academically and throughout their participation in co-curricular activities and athletics.”

Burdick notes that 32.4 percent of the University’s undergraduate students are athletes. She also adds that the large 2018 freshman class includes four students who earned full-tuition scholarships and an overall freshman class with an academic profile similar to the previous year. In addition, the number of transfer students with high academic profiles tripled from the previous year. Overall, College of DuPage, Morton College and Triton College represented the community colleges from which the highest number of students transferred to CUC to complete their bachelor’s degrees. While the Midwest states are heavily represented among the incoming class of students, others come from as far away as Florida, Texas and California.

This is the ninth consecutive year that combined graduate and undergraduate University enrollment has exceeded 5,000 students, and the first time ever that enrollment has reached and topped 6,000 students.