When Butler University welcomes students back to campus this weekend, there will be 600 Hoosiers in the first-year class, the most in the University’s 168-year history. Butler’s ability to recruit a record number of Indiana residents comes despite declining college enrollment among the state’s high school graduates over the past decade. In July, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education reported that only 52.9 percent of Indiana’s high school graduates went on to attend college in 2021. 

“Butler University’s brand has never been stronger, and it’s reflected in our enrollment,” Butler University President James Danko said. “Students from 39 states comprise this year’s incoming class, which speaks to our growing national reputation. At the same time, we have enrolled a record number of Hoosiers in this class. That’s despite declining trends in the state’s number of high school graduates, as well as the percentage of those graduates who are enrolling in college. It’s evidence that students and their families still see value in institutions—like Butler—that provide a premium education and position graduates for future success in their chosen careers.” 

University officials also reported that 22 percent of this year’s class identifies as students of color, making this the most diverse class in Butler’s history. That eclipses the mark set in fall 2021. 

“Butler University, established in 1855 by abolitionist Ovid Butler, is rooted in the principle of equitable access to higher education, regardless of background. Our commitment to this core mission remains steadfast,” President Danko said. “We are dedicated to forging innovative pathways that broaden the reach of an exceptional Butler education to those traditionally underserved while developing and providing new educational pathways to support those efforts. Enriching the tapestry of our student body with a multiplicity of viewpoints, encompassing diverse perspectives spanning race, religion, culture, and politics, profoundly enriches the academic experience for all.” 

Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Colorado followed Indiana as the states contributing the most students to Butler’s incoming class. Butler also saw strong enrollment growth this year from Iowa, New York, and North Carolina. There are 1,172 first-year students currently enrolled for classes at Butler this semester. 

Academically, Butler continues to draw some of the brightest students from across the nation. This year’s incoming class has an average GPA of 3.9. There are 29 valedictorians in the class, as well as 73 21st Century Scholars and 33 Lilly Scholars. More than 100 students were admitted into the Honors Program. Butler has been the No. 1 ranked Midwest Regional University by U.S. News & World Report for five consecutive years. 

Majors in the sciences are popular with this year’s class. Of students who declared majors, Biology was the most popular, followed by Health Sciences and Pre-Pharmacy. Majors from across the University that experienced significant growth include Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, Theatre, Criminology and Psychology, History, and Software Engineering.