Avila Now

August 17, 2023

Avila Welcomes the Largest Incoming Class in Institutional History 

Two Avila students stand in front of a purple welcome sign
Welcome to Avila!.

Avila University enrolled the largest incoming class in institutional history this fall. “We are already ahead of the traditional undergraduate enrollment pace from last year by nearly 200 students – that’s a 70% increase year over year,” said Josh Parisse, vice president of enrollment management. Avila commits to providing “access through affordability, quality individualized education, and passionate people that will invest in the lives of our students.”

Avila student and basketball player Desmond Combs, from Fort Worth, Texas, said, “I’m looking forward to getting my bachelor’s degree! That’s my main goal. That should be the goal for everybody.”

This class consists of freshman, transfer, and international student populations. 78% of these students are local to the Kansas City metro. “We’re seeing exciting interest from international students (with more to come), and our MASSIVE increase resides with incoming freshmen, up 100% from last year,” said Parisse. 

Avila student and Truman High School graduate Chey-Ann Morgan said she’s looking forward to “making new friends, gaining new experiences, and getting out of my comfort zone.”

This impressive incoming class results from many efforts on campus to position Avila as the private university of access. “New and seasoned collaborations with organizations like the Hispanic Development Fund, KC Scholars, and MCCKC, a dedicated recruitment campaign in our local KC backyard, and the unwavering dedication of our enthusiastic admissions and coaching teams who wholeheartedly support our ACCESS mission have all come together to create this remarkable Avila class,” said Parisse. 

The future of Avila lies within this incoming Eagle class. We are building a university of access for them, and they are shaping what we will become tomorrow.  “More Avila Eagles on campus allows for increased opportunity to help launch greater numbers of ambitious change-makers into a life of impact and success,” said Parisse.

“It’s a clear sign of the institution’s growing reputation and appeal. The increased enrollment can lead to a more diverse and vibrant student body, enriching the academic environment and fostering a strong sense of community. Moreover, the influx of students can boost the college’s resources, enabling the expansion of programs, co-curricular activities, and student support services,” said Curtis Burton, dean of students. 

Avila student and baseball player Josiah Singleton, from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, said he’s looking forward to “connecting with new people. It’s a new scenery for me! It’s a big adjustment, but I’m excited to be part of the community here. Everybody is very engaged.”

The Avila University of today began in 1963 when construction began on the present-day campus in South Kansas City as a response to growing enrollment. That begs the question of whether today’s campus will suffice for this growing population of students and what may lie ahead.  “Our campus boasts the capacity to handle the influx of students, and an exceptional team of staff and faculty are poised to deliver the utmost care and attention that our students truly deserve,” said Parisse.

“We are taking strategic measures to expand facilities, enhance infrastructure, and optimize resources to ensure a smooth transition. Our priority is to maintain the quality of education and student experience while effectively meeting the needs of the growing student body. This includes increasing housing options and bolstering support services to ensure all students can thrive academically and socially,” said Burton. 

Campus-wide efforts are underway to ensure that all incoming students (and those returning this fall) feel welcomed into the Avila community. 

“We’re making sure all incoming students feel warmly welcomed through a variety of initiatives. Our orientation program provides a comprehensive introduction to campus life, academic expectations, and resources available. Additionally, we’re enhancing student engagement opportunities, creating mentorship programs, and organizing events to foster connections among students, faculty, and staff. Our goal is to create a supportive and inclusive environment where each student can easily become a part of our vibrant community and embark on a successful academic journey here at Avila University,” said Burton. 

Avila student Jaren Miller, from Anchorage, Alaska, said, “I’m looking forward to experiencing the community and culture here and how it is to be an Avila Eagle–Go Eagles!”

Go back to the top