Concordia University Wisconsin’s fall 2018 new freshman and transfer student count is up by 23 students from last fall, a gain that continues the campus’ undergraduate enrollment climb.

According to census data released last week by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, 755 new students are enrolled at CUW this fall. The total beats out the campus’ 10-year average by nearly 80 students, and, outside of a fall 2016 dip, Concordia has seen steady growth among its new traditional undergraduate student population over the past decade.

Concordia’s Ann Arbor campus also saw growth in this area, again setting a campus record with 333 new undergraduate students enrolled as of the fall 2018 census. Altogether, the university’s incoming freshman and transfer student population grew by 15 percent from last fall’s census.

Concordia’s overall retention rate—an excellent indicator of the quality of offerings and services of a university—improved from last fall as well. CUW’s 77 percent retention rate sits slightly above the campus’ 10-year average. The Ann Arbor campus saw an impressive nine-point jump in retention from last fall, with 74 percent of the fall 2017 new student cohort having returned to campus this year.

“Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor continues to be richly blessed with our undergraduate enrollment,” said University President Rev. Patrick T. Ferry, PhD. “Our mission is of unquestionable significance as each facet of our university prepares students to lead uncommon lives of Christian witness and service in countless professions.”

Staying ahead of the negative enrollment trends that impact most colleges and universities is a top priority at Concordia University. The university works to ensure a Concordia education remains excellent and accessible to as many students as possible.

This fall, the university announced four new scholarship programs for adult learners. The Uncommon Scholarships are available to all CUW and CUAA alumni; employees of any qualifying Christian church or school; and employees of Concordia’s official business and academic partners. The university also continues to offer the Luther Promise scholarship, which guarantees up to $20,000 for qualifying undergraduate and transfer students.

Strong fundraising efforts are another critical strategy to maintain excellence and accessibility. The 2017-18 fiscal year marked a banner year for Concordia’s Office of University Advancement. The institution’s most recent campaign, “For a Better Purpose,” raised the gifts necessary for the construction of the new home for the Batterman School of Business and also was overfunded in the goals set for the university endowment.

The university also continues to assess, hone, and expand its graduate program offerings. This year, the university launched its first Doctorate of Education of Leadership in Innovation and Continuous Improvement (EdD LICI) cohort. The 60-credit, three-year, online degree comprises three core areas: leadership, research, and improvement science and innovation.

— This story is written by Kali Thiel, director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at or 262-243-2149.

If this story has inspired you, why not explore how you can help further Concordia's mission through giving.