Rising Numbers: Enrollment, GPA and SAT Scores Increase
George Fox University broke its enrollment record this fall and welcomed a freshman class with the best academic credentials since 2003.
A record 3,484 students – including 655 new traditional undergraduate students – enrolled this fall, marking a 3.3-percent increase over last year’s 3,368 total. The academic quality of undergraduate students increased as the average freshman recorded a 3.6 high school grade point average and 1,113 SAT score.
George Fox also continued its recent trend of enrolling more students from diverse racial and economic backgrounds. Nearly 30 percent of new undergraduate students are non-white domestic students (20 percent) or international students (8 percent). By comparison, George Fox’s ethnic minority population in 2006 was 12 percent.
The school also enrolled students from economically diverse backgrounds, with nearly one-third (30 percent) of the incoming class receiving Pell Grants. The federally sponsored program offers need-based grants to low-income college students, most of whom come from families that make less than $20,000 annually, according to the U.S. Department of Education. George Fox was ranked by U.S. News & World Report magazine as one of the most economically diverse institutions in the National Universities category, ranking 77 out of 266.
With overall enrollment breaking the 3,400 barrier for the first time, George Fox is more than six times larger than it was in 1986, when 549 students attended.
The record incoming class and a strong 84-percent freshman-to-sophomore retention rate led to a record 1,863 traditional undergraduates. Another 260 enrolled in adult degree-completion programs. The traditional undergraduate total marked about a 9 percent increase over the fall of 2009 (1,712). The 655 new students also was a record and marked a 21-percent increase over the previous year’s total (518). At the graduate level, the university’s 16 graduate and seminary programs enrolled 1,361 students.
The high interest level in undergraduate programs required the university to create a wait list for the first time in school history. For this reason, students interested in enrolling for the 2011 academic year are encouraged to apply early. The university’s early action application deadline is Dec. 1. Those who apply by that date will not be charged the $40 application fee and are eligible to participate in the university’s scholarship competition.
The school’s priority application deadline (March 1 for transfers) is Feb. 1. Any application completed after that date will be considered on a space-available basis, according to Ryan Dougherty, director of undergraduate admissions.
“I believe our enrollment increase can be attributed to a number of factors, including continued national recognition of our programs, increased awareness of George Fox in our region, and prospective students’ understanding and valuing our mission and vision as a Christian institution,” said Dale Seipp, vice president for enrollment services.
National honors keep rolling in
Latest rankings from Forbes, U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review put George Fox on the short list of America’s best Christian institutions
For a third straight year, Forbes ranks George Fox as one of the top Christian colleges in the country and as the top Christian college in the Pacific Northwest in its August 2010 “America’s Best Colleges” rankings.
Forbes ranked 600 of the roughly 4,000 colleges in the United States and based its rankings on “the quality of the education they provide, the experiences of the students and how much they achieve,” according to the Forbes website. George Fox ranked No. 134 overall and joined Wheaton (No. 59) and Westmont (No. 81) as the top institutions in the 110-member Council for Christian Colleges & Universities.
Best National Universities
George Fox University earned a spot in the top tier of the “Best National Universities” category in U.S. News & World Report’s 2011 “Best Colleges” guide, released in August.
George Fox ranked No. 170 overall, gaining the distinction of being one of the top 200 national universities in the country. The national universities category consists of 262 institutions (164 public and 98 private) that offer a wide range of undergraduate majors as well as master’s and doctoral degrees, according to the U.S. News website. In all, U.S. News ranked more than 1,400 four-year colleges and universities in its annual evaluation.
George Fox was also one of the top Christian universities in the category, joining Azusa Pacific University of California (No. 167) and Biola University of California (No. 170) as the top three schools representing the 110-member Council for Christian Colleges & Universities.
George Fox’s strong reputation was earned, in part, from its 11-to-1 faculty-to-student ratio, one of the most favorable student-to-faculty ratios among CCCU schools.
Best in the West
For the seventh consecutive year, The Princeton Review has honored George Fox University as one of its “Best in the West” schools.
George Fox is one of 120 colleges and universities listed from the western states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
Other institutions receiving the designation included Pepperdine University and Stanford University.
The Princeton Review rankings consider academics, quality of life, admissions selectivity, and financial aid. George Fox received a score of 85 out of 99 in admissions selectivity, an 84 out of 99 in academics, and a 90 out of 99 in quality of campus life.
The following is an excerpt from The Princeton Review profile of the university’s academics:
“Students resoundingly agree that George Fox is ‘a Christ-centered, academically challenging university where students are not a number’ and where ‘faith and learning’ are integrated at ‘a high academic level.’ Accordingly, the ‘devoted, amazing, [and] accessible’ professors ‘teach not only about academics but incorporate life skills into their lectures/teachings.’”
With more than half of its undergraduates participating in international experiences, George Fox University is a national leader in providing study abroad and international outreach opportunities to its students.
Fifty-four percent of the university’s traditional undergraduates study abroad before graduation. According to data compiled by U.S. News & World Report magazine for its 2011 “America’s Best Colleges” issue, George Fox ranks No. 49 out of approximately 1,400 accredited institutions in the nation in percentage of students studying outside the country. George Fox also was among the top five Christian colleges in study abroad participation.
In addition, the university annually hosts an international service trip, May Serve, which sends about 20 students to work with the people of a specific country. Past trips have gone to South Africa, Thailand, Malawi, Russia, Romania, Jamaica, Cuba, Brazil, India, Swaziland and the Philippines.
High school guidance counselors who advise students on college choices say George Fox University offers one of the best undergraduate educations in the state of Oregon.
Based on a national survey conducted by U.S. News & World Report, George Fox is tied for first among Oregon schools in the publication’s “Best Colleges: High School Counselor Rankings of National Universities” list. George Fox is also the top-ranked Christian college among those schools in the 110-member Council for Christian Colleges & Universities categorized by U.S. News as national universities.