USI's quad bustles with activity as the fall semester kicks off.
Photo Credit: USI Photography Services
This fall, the University of Southern Indiana welcomed an incoming class with the strongest credentials in its 48-year history. The 1,709 first-time students in the entering class of 2017 represent high levels of academic achievement and potential. Average SAT scores are up 6 points over last year and up 51 points over the last three years. Average high school grade point averages also continue to exceed previous years at a GPA of 3.22 and, this fall, USI is one of the top college choices for area valedictorians.
Total enrollment fell from 10,467 students in fall 2012 to 9,902 students for the 2013 fall semester. However, new enrollees in USI’s graduate studies programs increased by 12 percent this year.
In recent years, the University has continued to raise academic standards, admitting only those students most likely to succeed at a four-year university. As a result, conditionally admitted students, who may not be as prepared for a successful college career, have been trimmed from a high of around 8 percent, to just over 1 percent this year. The intentional choice to reduce those numbers has contributed to lower enrollment but, overall, has increased the strength of the student body.
“At age 48, USI has taken stock of where we’ve been and where we are headed. Continuing to raise academic standards is the right thing to do. The students we admit today have a history of academic success and are better prepared to work at a collegiate level than ever before,” said Dr. Linda L. M. Bennett, president. “USI is well-positioned for the future with strong academic programs and faculty and a beautiful, vibrant campus. We are committed to quality and helping all USI students get the edge.”
The state of Indiana is focused on student success. State higher education funding is based upon a number of factors including: increase in the number of degrees awarded and an increase in students who graduate on time (within four years). Nearly half of USI’s overall funding comes from the state. USI is helping to secure its future both academically and financially by intently focusing on quality.
“Top students have a number of choices, so competing for these students is not easy,” said Dr. Ronald S. Rochon, provost. “We’re up to the challenge, which is already evident in our College of Nursing and Health Professions where our highly competitive and top-ranked nursing and occupational therapy programs admit students with average GPAs of 3.6 and 3.8 respectively.”
USI continues to prepare many top students for college work while still in high school through the College Achievement Program (CAP), which experienced a record breaking year in 2012-2013. The University partnered with 27 high schools in 13 counties to offer 2,420 students more than 11,000 college credit hours across 20 available courses. These courses also are offered at a significantly reduced rate. Statistically, students who complete CAP courses are more likely to graduate college in four years.
Finally, USI has a demonstrated partnership with area community colleges. An increasing number of transfer students are coming to the University from 2-year institutions and are better prepared for the rigors of our coursework.
Profile of USI’s Student Population
The majority of students at USI continue to come from Vanderburgh and contiguous counties. Students come from 91 Indiana counties and 39 other states. 64 countries are represented among the enrollees. Minority and international students make up more than 11 percent of the student population. Female students represent 61 percent of the student population and nearly 25 percent of the students are 25 years of age or older. Full-time students continue to be in the majority and 989 graduate students are enrolled.