Despite national enrollment trends, HLGU saw an increase in freshman enrollment this year and an increase in residential students.
In a June 2021 article, Forbes reported that the latest numbers show the largest college enrollment decline in a decade, but Tad Wingo, HLGU’s vice president for enrollment management and marketing, knows what sets HLGU apart.
“We were able to improve some of our recruitment and financial aid strategies this year but I believe two things contributed to our success,” Wingo said. “First, we have an amazing admissions team. It is unbelievable the hard work and time they put into ensuring this was a successful year. Second, we have faculty and staff who love this place and are ready to pour into our students, and I think that’s evident to the students here.”
The COVID-19 pandemic played a large role in the challenge to recruit students, preventing admissions counselors and students from meeting face-to-face, but HLGU President Dr. Anthony Allen says there’s more to it than that.
“In general, there are a number of challenges facing education and recruiting students. First, there is increased competition for students that are available. Second, with a push for public education, most students can attend a community college, specifically in Missouri, for free. This places an added burden on private institutions that are seeking the same students.”
Dr. Allen and the HLGU admissions team remain positive though.
“One of the distinctives of Hannibal-Lagrange University is that it offers Christian higher education,” Allen said. “This means we take very seriously the integration of faith and learning and helping students be equipped with a biblical worldview as they prepare for their vocation. Students who receive this type of education not only are trained to serve in their vocation, but have the necessary skills and abilities to be successful in life.”
Wingo added, “Our students will be stronger in their faith when they graduate than when they moved into their dorm as a Freshman.”
Regarding recruiting strategies for the upcoming year, Wingo said his admissions counselors are ready to start traveling to “meet future Trojans in person.”
“We want to continue to develop the relationships needed to ensure that HLGU is successful. One hundred percent of undergrad students that attend HLGU receive financial aid. How awesome is that!” he exclaimed. “We have a great story to tell and we are ready to travel and tell everyone how wonderful this place truly is!”
New students arrived to campus on August 19, and the school year officially kicked off when classes started on August 23. Many faculty and staff members have noticed increased energy and liveliness among the student body this year.
“This group of freshmen is very involved and it is so encouraging seeing them walking across campus and getting to interact with them on a consistent basis,” said Stephen Crain, director of student activities. “I think the future of HLGU is bright and promising.”
Hannibal-LaGrange University is a four-year Christian university fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The University prides itself in the traditional and nontraditional educational experience it offers in a distinctively Christian environment.