Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College said on Tuesday it welcomed 377 on-campus student this fall, a number not seen since the early 1970s.

The last time SMWC’s on-campus student headcount approached this number was in 1971 with 372 students, according to a news release from the college.

SMWC said it enrolled 171 new students; 132 are members of the freshman class of 2021 and 39 are transfer students from other institutions. This marks a 45 percent increase from last year’s numbers.

Brennan Randolph, vice president for enrollment management, attributed the increase to work being done to implement the college’s Aspire Higher Strategic Plan. The plan focuses on enrollment growth of male and female students, additional athletic teams, nursing and new marketing strategies.

Since SMWC went coed in 2015, the college not only opened the doors to male students but also saw an increase in female student enrollment, Randolph said in the news release.

“We will continue to work collaboratively with the faculty and staff to move our strategic plan forward in hopes that we continue this growth pattern next year, as well. We are tracking application flow for fall 2018 and are already seeing trends that rival what we experienced last year,” he said.

The 377 on-campus students, paired with Woods Online enrollment number of 364, brings this fall’s total undergraduate enrollment to 741. There are 203 graduate students enrolled at SMWC this semester.

“Prospective students can expect new academic programs and new athletic teams in the coming years,” Randolph said.

For 10 consecutive years, SMWC has ranked in the top tier of “America’s Best Colleges” rankings by the U.S. News and World Report. This year, it is listed at No. 22 among the Best Regional Colleges in the Midwest and as 12th in the Best Value category.

Earlier this year, it was announced that SMWC has been included in an “exclusive list” ranking colleges on quality of education and affordability for non-wealthy students. SMWC ranked 13th out of 100 Midwest schools in Washington Monthly’s 2016 “Best Bang for the Buck” rankings.

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