ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – St. Louis University has seen one of the largest first-year classes in the school’s 200 year history despite layoffs.

More than 1,600 freshmen began classes this week. The number indicates a possible reverse in enrollment trends after past data suggested a decline. Data for 2017’s total undergraduate student body isn’t yet available, but school leaders feel confident.

More than 100 employees were laid off in the spring, with 170 positions eliminated. The decision was made to balance the university’s budget. The school’s medical college also received accreditation probation weeks after the layoffs.

University President Fred Pestello says this year’s high grade-point averages and ACT scores will put the school in the nation’s top 9 percent in terms of profile.

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