This year’s graduating class is one of the largest that Wartburg College has ever had. Edith Waldstein, vice president for enrollment management, said the class size is around four hundred students for this academic year. To continue the increase of graduating class size, the 2015 class has 563 students, which is larger than the past two years.
Waldstein said that Wartburg is always looking for the college’s enrollment to continue to grow. Wartburg’s graduating numbers have been on the rise over the last few years. In 2004, there were 316 graduates and that jumped to 370 graduates in 2005. In the 2009-10 year the class size was 375 and last year the class size was about 400.
Despite shrinking Iowa high school classes, Waldstein doesn’t expect smaller enrollment in the years to come. There are many factors that contribute to Wartburg’s high enrollment numbers.
“I think the biggest reason is that we have increased our enrollment steadily over time,” Waldstein said.
Wartburg is bringing in more and retaining larger classes than they have been in previous years. Attracting students to Wartburg is important for the college because it brings in higher enrollment numbers. Waldstein said if a student is happy and enjoys the school they will be more likely to stay.
By making sure students are happy with what Wartburg has to offer Waldstein said, this will make Wartburg’s retention numbers higher.
“Most of the rest of the country is trying to figure out how to keep their enrollment rolling,” Waldstein said.
There are other schools that have similar numbers that have turned students away because they have over-capacitated, but this shouldn’t be a problem for Wartburg.
“We manage our enrollment pretty well,” Waldstein said.
With new students coming in the next years, Wartburg’s class sizes should only continue to grow, Waldstein said. Wartburg manages enrollment well and because of this the fluctuations will be small and the overall goal of increasing size will be met, she said.
“I think it [class sizes] will always fluctuate because it is not an exact science,” Waldstein said.