Fontbonne University is celebrating its 100th anniversary and a milestone increase in freshman admissions, with one of the largest freshman classes in 14 years, representing a 60 percent increase in first-year enrollment from last year.
The growth is the result of comprehensive recruitment and enrollment strategies implemented over the past few years, especially the expansion of student opportunities and new programs. New programs include a new four-year bachelor’s degree in nursing and the introduction of St. Louis’ first collegiate men’s Sprint Football team.
The university’s test-blind admissions and merit scholarship policy for incoming freshmen have streamlined a pathway for talented and hardworking students. “By focusing on a student’s performance and achievements in high school, we are better able to identify dedicated students and remove barriers to access in the admission and merit scholarship awarding process,” said Quinton Clay, vice president for enrollment management, marketing and communications.
In total, 181 first-year students from across the United States have enrolled in the Class of 2026, most of whom have moved into the university’s residence halls. In addition to students from the Greater St. Louis area, Fontbonne has more than doubled the enrollment of out-of-state students within a year. This includes students attending from Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, New Mexico, Tennessee and other states.
Of special note, the number of freshmen who would be the first in their families to earn a bachelor’s degree increased to 46 percent from 27 percent last year. In addition, students of color comprise 40 percent of this year’s freshman class, an increase from 33 percent of freshmen in 2021.
“Fontbonne is excited to welcome a large and diverse freshman class. While our university serves a wide range of students, we are pleased to be attracting many first-generation university students, including those from groups which have been underserved by higher education,” said Dr. Nancy Blattner, president of Fontbonne University.
US News & World Report Raises Fontbonne’s Rankings
In the most recent US News & World Report rankings released September 12, 2022, Fontbonne moved up 23 points (32nd from 55th) in Best Value in the Midwest and 18 points (23rd from 41st) in Social Mobility, which refers to success in enrolling and graduating large proportions of disadvantaged students awarded Pell Grants. Its rankings as a best value school and top regional university in the Midwest are based in large part on the net cost for full-time undergraduates receiving need-based financial aid awards in scholarships or grants.
As a small university, Fontbonne embraces a student-centered academic environment, where every student is known by name and one-on-one counseling and advising help every student identify the best areas of study based on their individual interests, passion and career goals.
Fontbonne’s more than 100 areas of study primarily concentrate on healthcare, education, technology, business and humanities, with 44 undergraduate majors and 34 minors, as well as 10 undergraduate certificates. Graduate students may choose from 19 majors and 8 certificate programs, as well as two special programs in partnership with Avila University in Kansas City, Mo., and St. Catherine (St. Kate’s) University in St. Paul, Minn., where graduate students in speech-language pathology can gain practical experience providing services in free community family clinics.