Historic Enrollment Growth Confirmed by ‘11th Day' Report
Record numbers seen in total of undergraduate and graduate studentsFriday, September 23, 2011
The preliminary enrollment report from the University of Arkansas to the Arkansas Department of Higher Education on Sept. 21 confirmed earlier projections: the university has recorded historic enrollment growth for the fall 2011 semester. The number of students is even larger than originally expected.
The state of Arkansas requires colleges and universities to take an enrollment “snapshot” of students who are registered on the 11th day of classes, which was Sept. 6 this year. These figures are processed and a preliminary report must be sent to the state by Sept. 22, with a final tally due on Oct. 19. There are sometimes minor differences between the preliminary report and the final enrollment numbers, but the changes are rarely significant.
Based on the “11th day” report, the University of Arkansas has a total enrollment of 23,199 students, an increase of 1,794 students, or 8.4 percent, over the record enrollment registered in fall 2010. This is the largest numerical increase the university has experienced since the late 1940s, and the largest percentage increase since 1975. The incoming freshman class showed a 16.7 percent increase of first-time degree-seeking students, a total of 4,447 students. First-time degree-seeking graduate students also showed an impressive increase of 4.6 percent for a total of 1,049 students. “These updated totals are truly impressive,” said Chancellor G. David Gearhart. “The numbers show that, for Arkansans and for students from around the nation, the University of Arkansas has become a school of first choice for undergraduate and graduate education.”
The Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarships appear to be a factor in the increased enrollment, although not the only factor.
A total of 5,449 students are receiving the “lottery scholarships” this year, 3,295 of them classified as traditional freshman students, and 509 considered “non-traditional” first-year students. There are 468 students who are continuing to receive their scholarships from previous years, and 1,177 “current achievers,” students who received their scholarships while already enrolled at the University of Arkansas.
“The Academic Challenge Scholarship has clearly made an important difference to students planning for college in this state. From our perspective, these scholarships helped a wide array of students we recruited come to the University of Arkansas,” said Suzanne McCray, vice provost for enrollment. “In some cases the scholarships simply made it possible for students to afford to attend a university, and we are very proud that we were the first choice for so many."
There is greater ethnic diversity among University of Arkansas students, reflected in the increased number of minority students. African American students remain the largest minority group on campus, making up 5.4 percent of the total enrollment. African American enrollment totals 1,246 students, a 10.5 percent increase.
Latino students are the fastest growing segment of the minority population. There are 1,068 Latino students enrolled for the fall semester, an increase of 24 percent. Latino students make up 4.6 percent of the total student population.
Students who identify themselves as being of two or more races now account for 2.6 percent of the total enrollment, the third largest minority group on campus. There are 608 students who identify themselves as being of two or more races, an increase of 31.9 percent over last year.
More than one third of all students at the University of Arkansas are enrolled in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, which has a total enrollment of 8,421 students, or 36.3 percent of the student population. Enrollment in Fulbright College increased by 8.8 percent over the fall of 2010. Undergraduates total 7,504 students, a 9.5 percent increase over last year. Graduate enrollment increased by 3.1 percent, to a total of 917 students.
The College of Education and Health Professions has the next highest enrollment on campus, a total of 4,372 students, which is 18.8 percent of the total university enrollment, and a growth of 7.2 percent over last year. Undergraduate enrollment increased by 12.6 percent to a total of 3,209 students. There are 1,163 graduate students enrolled, a decrease of 5.3 percent, but this remains the largest number of graduate students in any of the colleges at the university.
The Sam M. Walton College of Business grew by 10 percent, to a total of 4,082 students. Undergraduate enrollment increased by 10.9 percent to 3,764 students, the second largest number of undergraduates on campus. Graduate student enrollment remained constant, with a total of 318 students.
The College of Engineering had the largest total percentage enrollment growth of any of the colleges, 12.9 percent, to a total of 3,133 students. Undergraduate enrollment also shows the highest percentage increase, 15.3 percent, for a total of 2,272 students. There are 861 graduate students, a 7 percent increase, also the largest percentage growth on campus.
The Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences had a growth of 4.4 percent, for a total enrollment of 1,872 students. Of that number 1,554 are undergraduates, an increase of 5.2 percent. Graduate enrollment of 318 students remained constant.
The Fay Jones School of Architecture, with a total of 560 students posted a decline in enrollment because the school is in the process of an expansion and renovation project at Vol Walker Hall. The two-year project has caused space constraints that forced the school to limit its enrollment until the work is completed.
The 413 students enrolled in the School of Law represent an increase of 1.5 percent.
Enrollment in the University of Arkansas Honors College held steady, with a slight increase of 1.1 percent, to a total of 2,483 students. The largest number of Honors College students, 1,063, is in the Fulbright College, The College of Education and Health Professions had the largest percent increase, 25.1 percent, or 229 students in the fall semester.
The preliminary 11th day enrollment report can be found on the Institutional Research website.
John Diamond, associate vice chancellor
Steve Voorhies, manager of media relations
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