Sept. 19, 2017

Buena Vista University has started the fall semester with a total of 1,982 students enrolled at the Storm Lake campus and its online, 16 site locations in Iowa and graduate programs.

Of the 1,982 total students enrolled for the 2017-18 academic year, there are 786 undergraduate students at the Storm Lake campus. The online, site and graduate programs comprise 1,196 undergraduate degree completion and graduate students.

“The entering Storm Lake class brings a myriad of diverse talent and excitement to BVU,” said BVU President Josh Merchant. “This makes me significantly optimistic about the future of the University. Some of our athletic team rosters have grown considerably! Easily over half of our first-year, full-time students are student-athletes. In addition, nearly half are out-of-state students, including several who hail from the western regions of the U.S.” 

This year's incoming Storm Lake class is comprised of a number of ethnically diverse students, who represent nearly a quarter of first-year students. In addition, 24.4 percent of the entering class are first-generation college students.

BVU continues to be highly accessible to first-generation college students and families who are facing economic challenges – according to Pell Grant eligibility – enrolling a higher percentage of students as compared to most institutions surveyed across Iowa.

“Consistently, around ninety percent of financial aid applicants tell us that BV is an affordable option after viewing their financial aid awards,” said Mike Frantz, vice president of enrollment management. “Our financial aid awards average $35,000 and seventy-five percent of that aid is gift aid—scholarships and grants. We remain committed to providing a high quality education at a net price that is affordable to families across all socio-economic levels.”

The retention rate of eligible students from spring-to-fall was 92 percent, making it the highest retention rate since 2000 during this specific period of time. This high retention rate demonstrates the success of BVU's efforts to recruit and appeal to students who are a good fit and who will excel at BVU.