News Story

September 29, 2015

La Roche College Enrollment Numbers Highest Since 2006

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 29, 2015 – La Roche University is pleased to announce a 7.8 percent increase in total enrollment.

Total enrollment for the 2015-16 academic year at La Roche has peaked at 1,523 students—an increase of 111 students over last year’s final enrollment number of 1,412. In addition to the 1,523 for-credit students, another 117 students have enrolled in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program this fall.

The University saw increases in the number of freshmen enrolled, the number of new, full-time transfer students, and the number of full-time undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at La Roche.

“This is our largest overall enrollment since 2006, and we are just as proud to be welcoming 619 new students for the fall, which includes 571 degree-seeking and 48 ESL,” Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean Howard J. Ishiyama, Ph.D., said. “Our number of new students is quite an accomplishment for a college the size of La Roche. We can credit this to a number of new creative initiatives across the board, as well as the dedication and hard work of our staff and faculty college-wide.”

Internal strategies that contributed to this year’s record enrollment include the University’s efforts to expand its footprint across multiple student types; creating more transfer-friendly policies; and assertively recruiting international students in countries that value a U.S. education.

“We made an aggressive effort in our recruitment and advertising strategies to target specific groups, including students from regional Catholic high schools, and out-of-state students, which resulted in out-of-state enrollment growth of 40 percent,” Dr. Ishiyama said. “Our number of veteran students surged 70 percent. And, we worked to increase the number of our adult part-time students by creating multiple new agreements and relationships with hospitals and corporations across the region.”

The University also amended its transfer policy to accept the core curriculum of any local community colleges, so that students could work on building their majors instead of retaking these courses, and designed new programs geared specifically toward these students, including a new bachelor of arts degree in management, and a psychology partnership at Butler County Community College (BC3) that eliminated the need for BC3 students to travel to La Roche’s McCandless campus.

“In addition to targeting a wider range of freshmen, transfer students, out-of-state students and graduate students, we also looked to broaden our ‘portfolio’ with more international students. This year we will welcome 80 new international students from 20 different countries,” Dr. Ishiyama continued. “This fits with our mission of creating a climate on campus that is accepting of all people and that emphasizes diversity.”

The following is a snapshot of enrollment numbers for the 2015-16 academic year:

  • The freshman class of 291 is a 30 percent increase over last year’s entering freshman class.
  • There are 138 new full-time transfer students, an increase of 22 percent over last fall.
  • A total of 78 percent of last year’s freshmen class returned for the fall 2015 semester.
  • Full-time undergraduate enrollment is up by 9 percent.
  • Enrollment in graduate programs is up by 16.8 percent.

La Roche continues to enhance its facilities to meet the growing student demand. One year ago the University unveiled a $2.7 million renovation to its athletic complex, which included the installation of a turf field among other enhancements. the University also opened the Father Peter Horton Lounge outside of Magdalen Chapel. This past summer the University made several enhancements to residence halls and completely renovated the Zappala College Center Square. The lecture hall in the Palumbo Science Center is currently under construction and will open later this fall.

About La Roche University: A private liberal arts college in the North Hills of Pittsburgh, La Roche University offers more than 50 undergraduate and six graduate degree programs, with particular strengths in education, business, criminal justice, psychology, and health and medical sciences, as well as interior design and graphic design. This residential college provides a vibrant campus community for more than 1,400 men and women enjoying 30-plus student organizations and an exciting NCAA Div. III athletics program. Founded by the Sisters of Divine Providence in 1963, La Roche University embraces its Catholic heritage while welcoming people of all faiths and backgrounds. With a legacy of social justice and a commitment to international exchange, La Roche University educates students to be lifelong learners and achievers in an increasingly diverse and global society.