Students in field

Growth at Finlandia, largest incoming class in five years

September 14, 2021

This fall, Finlandia University’s overall enrollment grew by six percent with the on-campus student population increasing by nine percent. This full-time-equivalent growth brought 25 more students to campus than in fall 2020, giving Finlandia an enrollment of 430. The fall 2021 incoming class is the largest since 2016 with Finlandia’s International School of Business realizing an all-time high of 137 degree-seeking majors. Nearly 70 percent of Finlandia’s fall 2021 student body is from Michigan and the Upper Great Lakes region and 24 percent are students of color.  

In spite of challenges presented by the past three semesters, Finlandia has been able to complete instructional renovations in its College of Health Sciences, open its new Seaton Center for Vocation and Career and host a special edition in-person commencement ceremony which few 2021 Michigan college graduates experienced.    

Later this fall, Finlandia intends to welcome the public to an open house and naming event at the newly renovated historic Hancock Central High School where its health sciences degrees are now delivered. Though work remains, the project retains the building’s historic character, creates inspiring collegiate-level instructional spaces and opens up its community spaces for Copper Country neighbors and special events.   

“The long-awaited renovation has always been important to Finlandia, not only for its strategic potential in growing our health sciences programs.  With new and expanded instructional spaces and technology, there is opportunity to partner with neighboring healthcare providers to offer training and professional development,” Dr. Fredi de Yampert, Finlandia’s VP for Academic Affairs said.  

The Seaton Center, officially launching this fall, offers Finlandia students a unique opportunity to more deeply cultivate personal identity and pursue career aspirations from a place of strength and self-acceptance. Through the Center, newly enrolled students receive one-on-one coaching that better prepares them to enter careers of choice or graduate study more self-aware and self-confident. The Center recognizes that employers today value qualities of personhood as well as intellectual or technical competencies. 

“There are many students and families in the U.P. and beyond that value Finlandia’s smaller campus brand of higher education.  Finlandia’s exceptionally talented, student-engaged faculty, strong academic programs, diverse student body, and robust student learning support speaks to those seeking the advantages of higher education done small,” President Philip Johnson said.  

Anthony Schwass, Finlandia’s Dean of Enrollment said, “I am confident that Finlandia can maintain this momentum over the coming years and establish a more durable position in private higher education in the upper Great Lakes region, especially in the Upper Peninsula. Sharing our student academic success stories, dispelling myths about private institution pricing, creating new education pathways, and preparing students for their next steps, whether they attend Finlandia or not, is at the core of our enrollment strategy.”  

This renewed season of growth, program innovation and facility enhancements come as Finlandia observes its 125th anniversary.  

“The main events are to occur later this year, December 3rd, 4th, and 5th, days leading up to Finnish Independence Day on December 6th,” Johnson said. “The events aim to honor a legacy of perseverance and to boldly imagine a future of growth and prosperity.”

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