Augustana College in Rock Island has welcomed 790 new students this fall, including 723 first-year students and 67 transfer students. 

This year’s class was chosen from a record pool of 8,217 applications, and admitted students are from 22 states and 32 countries, according to a Monday from the private liberal-arts school. This is Augustana’s largest enrollment since fall 2019 and marks a clear and convincing rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to executive vice president and chief enrollment officer Kent Barnds.

New Augustana students gathered at Welcome Week kick-off at the Carver Center (photo: Matthew Terry).

Augustana’s fall enrollment count includes 2,480 students — including 2,442 undergraduate students and 38 graduate students enrolled in the college’s speech, language and pathology master’s program. Augustana saw a nearly 2% increase in retention this year compared to last year.

Barnds said this is the fourth largest group of first-year students in Augustana’s 163-year history, and it is the college’s second-largest class when you combine first-year and transfer students. The Class of 2027 includes 574 U.S. and 149 international students. 

“This also represents a more than 23% increase in new student enrollment over the last year,” he said in the school release. “We proudly welcome this new class of Augustana Vikings, and we’re excited to see them begin their journey of engaging in our top-notch academic programs and more than 150 student activities.” 

First-year Augie students form a Big A on Ericsson Field at Lindberg Stadium on campus Sept. 1, 2023 (photo: Matthew Terry).

Barnds said this is the college’s largest group of transfer students since 2008.  

Transfer students come to Augustana from a variety of backgrounds, including through Augustana Next agreements which pave the way for community college students to dual enroll and benefit from the support of an Augustana academic advisor; an Augustana professor from their desired major to discuss course choices, topics and opportunities; and the ability to enroll in any two Augustana courses for a reduced fee — while attending their community college.  

President Andrea Talentino said the Class of 2027 is the first to benefit from Augustana Possible, with 177 first-year students receiving grants from the innovative financial aid program for high-achieving students from families with lower incomes.

More than 240 Augie faculty, staff and returning students helped first-year and transfer students move in to campus in Rock Island, Sept. 1, 2023.

“Augustana Possible awards drew students from 10 states, and we more than doubled the number of recipients from the original projections,” Talentino said. “This grant is opening doors to deserving students who may not have previously believed a high-quality college was accessible to them, and the Augustana education they earn here will be life-changing.”

You can see how Augustana impacts the community at large HERE. For more information, visit the Augie website HERE.