Aug 27, 2010

High Point University Goes Beyond ‘Up and Coming’

It’s an amazing story. High Point University (HPU) is no longer “up and coming.” HPU has definitely arrived—moving in four short years from 15th to 3rd place among Regional Colleges in the south, supported by a clearly defined business plan that includes growth in academic caliber as well as physical plant.

Almost a year ago, HPU president Nido Qubein, addressed a large group of educational consultants at the IECA Fall Conference. He promised the audience that High Point was a school to watch and that “great things” would come from what was once a sleepy North Carolina college. And he was right.

Here is the evidence—since 2005:
  • Freshman enrollment has increased 230 percent. This fall, HPU welcomed 1,220 first year students, up from 1,030 last year.

  • Total undergraduate enrollment is up 122 percent, from 1,484 to 3,300 students.

  • The campus has more than doubled in size from 83 to 210 acres.

  • SAT scores are up 100 points on average.

  • The number of faculty and staff has risen by 90 percent to 879: 115 more than last year.

Behind these numbers lies an aggressive program of transformation unlike virtually any college in the nation. Over the past five years, HPU raised and invested $300 million in academics, facilities, technology, and scholarships. The new construction program is unparalleled, with 15 new academic, residential, and student-life buildings, plus two new athletic stadiums and a field house, fountains, botanic gardens, laboratories, as well as nine modern restaurants.

But High Point isn’t just glitzy new buildings and facilities. Starting this fall, students will be greeted with a completely revamped core curriculum allowing more flexibility within student schedules. And with the creation of several new schools, including the School of Design, students will be choosing from among 50 majors and 42 minors.

Not everyone is completely sold on the new HPU. Some long-time counselors wonder if the growth and expenditures can be sustained, and others bristle at the “perfection” of the campus. “It’s a little like Disneyland,” commented one parent who recently returned from a tour of North Carolina colleges.

But students are responding. “The Maryland/DC area was our number one territory this year surpassing by one student our central and western North Carolina territory,” said HPU vice president of enrollment Andy Bills. “We will enroll close to 200 students in the freshman class from [the DC region].”

For more information or to learn when admissions representatives will be in your area, visit the HPU admissions web pages.

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