Merrimack Ranks Among Chronicle of Higher Education’s Top 10 Fastest-Growing Colleges

Merrimack College was recognized by The Chronicle of Higher Education as the 10th fastest-growing private nonprofit institution in the Master’s category out of 347 colleges and universities. Over the 10-year period from 2009-2019, Merrimack’s overall enrollment has increased by 148%.

  • Merrimack recognized as the 10th fastest-growing private nonprofit institution.

Between 2009-2019, Merrimack College has grown in numerous ways. From newly expanded and renovated campus spaces like the Arcidi Center, Crowe Hall and the brand-new Nursing Center, to programmatic changes like the sharp increase in graduate degrees offered both in-person and fully online and the introduction of new undergraduate majors and programs, to the College’s move to Division I athletics.

At the undergraduate level, Merrimack now offers over 100 degree programs and supports approximately 4,000 students each year. There are over 60 student clubs and organizations on campus, on top of the robust Division I athletics programs.

Since 2018, the College has also been accredited as an Apple Distinguished School, providing iPads and smart-tech tools to 100% of undergraduate students. These systems of support continue to grow and have marked Merrimack as one of the most innovative colleges and universities in the Northeast.

The growth at the undergraduate level is also present in the College’s graduate programming. In 2010, Merrimack was home to only 94 graduate students. Fast-forward 11 years and that number is now well over 1,300 — and counting. While the COVID-19 pandemic significantly altered the landscape of higher education, it served as a catalyst for unprecedented enrollment numbers across Merrimack’s 44 graduate degree and certificate programs.

Since 2011, the College has introduced 28 new master’s programs — including seven online degrees. The expansion has been targeted at developing programs that prepare students to meet today’s evolving market demands. The undergraduate community has also experienced growth with over 100 academic programs, an 86% experiential learning rate and a 96% career outcomes rate post-graduation.

The momentum of Merrimack’s graduate programs shows no sign of slowing down, and this sharp uptick in both academic offerings and enrollments overall has landed Merrimack among the Chronicle of Higher Education’s top 10 fastest-growing colleges.

“It is an honor and a testament to our small-but-mighty community to see Merrimack’s accomplishments recognized in this way,” said President Christopher E. Hopey, Ph.D. “Our college has gone through a multitude of transformations, all of them with the underlying mission to better serve our students and to advance Merrimack’s reach in the community for years to come.”

The recognition in the Chronicle as well as this year’s leaps in the U.S. News and World Report rankings is an elevated benchmark for the entire Merrimack community.

“The students Merrimack is able to welcome and support in our community serve as a continual reminder of our vital role as an academic institution,” said Provost John “Sean” Condon, Ph.D. “It is a true privilege to see the hard work and dedication of our campus community reflected and celebrated out in the world.”

As Merrimack looks to the future, the commitment to developing new programs and expanding the campus is here to stay. The growth seen over the last decade is more than a phase — it’s a fundamental institutional shift. In line with the last decade of growth, Merrimack now plans to increase physical spaces on campus, expand professional development and advising resources, and invest in new research-based programs.

In addition, the College has committed to keeping both graduate and undergraduate education costs affordable. With competitive tuition, generous financial aid and widely available graduate fellowships, Merrimack offers degrees at a cost that’s generally comparable to that of public universities, and is committed to growing its vibrant and diverse campus community.

Learn More About Merrimack’s Awards & Recognition

View the Full Chronicle of Higher Education List