QUINCY -- Quincy University officials are confident the increase in freshman enrollment is a sign of things to come.
The announcement that the university is boasting an 11 percent increase in first-year students also represents what QU President Phil Conover terms an important step regarding the school's effort to achieve "long-term sustainability."
Two years removed from a financial crisis -- including a $5 million budgetary shortfall -- Conover thinks the sizable increase in freshman enrollment is an important element.
"The positive growth in enrollment is additionally significant given our limited resources as we enter the second year of our renewed effort to achieve long-term sustainability," Conover said. "We have been making strategic decisions that meet marketplace demand. We are very optimistic about the future of Quincy University."
QU recently welcomed 349 freshmen and transfer students.
Including part-time undergraduate and graduate program students, the university's overall enrollment this semester is 1,124. That figure is an increase from 1,098 a year ago.
"We are pleased with this year's student enrollment," said Tom Oliver, vice president for enrollment management. "Students and families have responded well to the university's efforts to bring greater transparency to the true cost of a QU education, underscoring the exceptional value the university provides each of its students."
Another highlight of this year's enrollment is a 20 percent increase in graduate students. A year ago, QU introduced an Office of Graduate Studies and hired a coordinator to help with the needs of graduate students that included offering support past the traditional hours.
"In the coming year, admissions staff will accelerate efforts to increase the university's geographic reach, attracting increasing numbers of students from the tri-state area and high-growth areas across the country," Oliver said.
In addition, QU officials said there has been an increase of more than $1 million in net tuition revenue this fall. Expense reductions of $2.3 million also have been made since May 2015.