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The DePaulia

The Student News Site of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student News Site of DePaul University

The DePaulia

BREAKING: Fall census shows increased enrollment and retention

Jake Cox
Students walk on DePaul’s Quad near the intersection of Belden and Sanctuary Ave.

DePaul saw a 2.1% increase in enrollment this quarter, according to the 2023 fall census, which the Office of the President released Tuesday, Oct. 24. The report said the freshman retention rate also increased 3 percent, compared with last year and even more for Black and Hispanic students.

The census is an indication of the institution’s financial health. While overall enrollment increased, the freshman cohort has decreased 0.9% to 2,943 students, since the academic year 2022-23.

Transfer student enrollment went up 4.6%, with an enrollment of 1,092 students. Graduate enrollment went up 18.3%, with 2,150 students. Out of those students 813 are international — a growth of over 66% since the previous academic year. 

DePaul is an enrollment-driven institution — meaning that it relies mostly on enrollment to fund its operations, rather than research or alumni contributions. According to the IRS form 990 for the fiscal year 2022, $698 million, or about 92% of DePaul’s revenue was from tuition. 

The freshman retention rate increased 3% compared to the previous year, with a 4% increase for Black students and 6% for Hispanic students. This increase in retention is important for DePaul’s path to becoming a Hispanic serving institution (HSI), which requires at least a 25% Hispanic student enrollment. In school year 21-22 DePaul had 16.6% hispanic student enrollment. 

DePaul ended fiscal year 2023 with a $11.1 million operating loss, spending more than the university was bringing in. While enrollment has increased, DePaul is not expecting to see a profit in fiscal year 2024 “due to the increasing financial aid needs of our current students,” according to a statement from President Robert Manuel. Financial aid increased by 7% from the previous year, according to the email from the Office of the President. 

The revenue will be “flat but positive,” meaning there will not be a deficit, but will be thinner than DePaul needs, according to Manuel’s statement. 

“We must continue to work toward our goal of increasing revenue through our Designing DePaul plans, while remaining diligent in our cost management efforts,” Manuel wrote in his statement. 

Designing DePaul initiatives and global growth are part of the university’s plan to increase enrollment and revenue. 

“This growth will provide more breathing room in our operating margin to better weather any additional downturns,” Manuel said, “and provide the opportunity to further invest in our academic and student programs.”

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