Record Honors Program Enrollment in Fall 2014

Honors enrollment at all-time high as DePaul continues to attract top students

DePaul is attracting more high-performing students than ever as demonstrated by successive years of record enrollment in the University Honors Program, including an all-time high of 260 students this fall. A recent report offers detailed insight into the enrollment, retention and graduation rates, and post-graduate endeavors for honors students.

The Honors Program offers a challenging alternative to the Liberal Studies Program for well-prepared, serious students in any major. It features small classes organized in a seminar format and taught by faculty committed to standards for academic excellence set by the program. Admission into the program is a major deciding point for most honors students—80 percent of fall 2013 incoming honors freshmen said admission to the program was very or somewhat important in their decision to come to DePaul.

Once here, honors students’ retention and graduation rates far exceed the student body as a whole:
  • Students from the 2010-14 cohorts have a 98 percent first-year DePaul retention rate and a 92 percent retention rate in the Honors Program.
  • 186 honors students graduated in spring 2014, resulting in a cohort four-year graduation rate of 87 percent. Six of these students graduated a full year early.
  • 73 percent of 2014 graduates earned cum laude, magna cum laude or summa cum laude honors.

Many strategies have converged to result in the enrollment growth within the program. Each year, the Honors Program collaborates with Undergraduate Admission on strategic communications for prospective students and guidance counselors, including tailored messages detailing the program components and admission requirements. Admission also expanded efforts to recruit honors students from outside Illinois, resulting in increased enrollments nationwide, particularly from California and Texas. In addition, Admission hosts the annual honors reception every April. This event features Honors Program faculty, staff, students and graduates and is designed to help admitted honors students decide whether DePaul is for them.

The Honors Program began an ongoing effort to collect educational and career outcomes data two years ago and will use these data to strengthen program offerings and impact. An early finding from student feedback is that they valued the recognition of being in the Honors Program as they entered graduate and professional degree programs and the workforce.

For more information about Honors Program enrollment and outcomes, contact Rose Spalding, director for the University Honors Program, or Hallie Harmon, assistant director for Undergraduate Admission.