Concordia University Ann Arbor’s enrollment is at an all-time high, having climbed more than 40 percent over the past three years, according to fall 2016 census data released by the Office of Institutional Research.

Concordia’s total student population for 2016 is 1,054, the highest it has been since the school’s inception in 1963. That number is up 17 percent from last year’s total and up 42 percent from the fall 2013 census.

The Ann Arbor campus welcomed 325 new students this fall, the largest incoming class since 1976 when Concordia, then a junior college, began offering four-year Bachelor of Arts degrees.

“The growth at Concordia has been very positive and the trajectory for continued growth is encouraging,” said Rev. Dr. Patrick T. Ferry, president at CUAA. “There is a great vibe on campus. New academic programs, enhanced facilities, and terrific people are all part of the draw for prospective students.”

CUAA has seen enrollment increase for three consecutive years in the traditional undergraduate, high school dual credit, and graduate studies student populations.

Such growth is especially noteworthy in an environment where higher education enrollment growth cannot be taken for granted, said Ferry.

Since 2013, CUAA has issued millions of dollars toward renovations of academic buildings, including the Kreft Center for the Arts and the Science building. Construction of Cardinal Stadium, a new athletic facility on the north end of campus, was completed in 2015. Concordia also acquired an 84,500 square foot building just under three miles north of main campus, the former Thomas M. Cooley Law School, home of the new School of Nursing and athletic training programs.

Along with nursing and athletic training, Concordia has added computer science, special education, and additional business majors to bring undergraduate program offerings to a total of forty-seven. Graduate degrees total nineteen, including new programs in student personnel administration in higher education (SPAHE), computer science, and special education.

CUAA offers twenty-two varsity level athletics, with new programs in men’s and women’s tennis as well as men’s and women’s lacrosse, all initiated in the last three years.

In addition to record overall enrollment and welcoming the largest incoming class to date, CUAA is seeing the highest retention rate for returning students than any other retention reports in the last decade with the exception of 2007. The 2015-2016 student satisfaction survey issued by the office of institutional research shows that student satisfaction results at CUAA top the national average.

For the first time, CUAA issued a spiritual life survey in the 2015-2016 academic year, allowing Concordia the opportunity to take an important step forward toward comprehensively and consistently measuring student spiritual formation and faith in action.

“At Concordia, we are determined to provide the finest higher education experience possible,” said Ferry. “As we go forward and continue to grow, we expect Concordians, now and in the future, to believe their choice of CUAA to be an excellent one.”

Read more about the growth at Concordia University Ann Arbor, and other campus updates, in the Fall/Winter 2016 issue of the Arbor Light.

— Rachel Thoms served on Concordia University's Strategic Communications team from 2015-2022. Any inquiries about this story can be sent to

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