University of Arkansas enrollment tops 25,000 in 2013

For the first time ever, enrollment at the University of Arkansas will top 25,000 students, officials announced last week.

Preliminary totals show 25,365 students are enrolled at the start the fall semester, a goal officials didn’t expect to reach until the school’s 2021 sesquicentennial anniversary.

Provost Sharon Gaber said that despite the record enrollment numbers, resources available to students have not been compromised.

Aside from $450 million in new construction projects intended to expand and modernize campus facilities, Gaber said over 160 tenure and non-tenure track positions have been added since 2010, and more hires are coming next year.

“Growth at the University of Arkansas will not come at the cost of quality interaction with an instructor,” said Gaber.

Preliminary figures show a record 21,083 undergraduate students are enrolled on campus. That’s a 4 percent increase from 2012, and a 27 percent increase over the last six years.

Graduate student enrollment has also grown to 3,904 students, up 3.25% from 2012, the largest one-year increase in several years. Since 2006, graduate student enrollment has increased by 16 percent.

Suzanne McCray, dean of admissions, said enrollment numbers aren’t the only records that were broken this fall.

“We are as excited by the quality of our students as we are by the numbers,” McCray said.

She said 43.5 percent of new students entered the UA with a high school GPA of 3.75 or higher and 17.7 percent of the freshman class has an ACT score of 30 or higher. Both numbers are record highs for the university.

Diversity on campus has also shown significant improvement. The 4,474 minority students currently enrolled represent an 80 percent increase since 2008.

“This is a mark of just how well the university’s efforts to reach out to underrepresented students across the state are paying off,” said Charles Robinson, vice chancellor for diversity and community.

As for online enrollment, there are now 6,122 students taking at least one online class this semester, a 74 percent increase over last year and a 399 percent increase since 2008.

The current enrollment figures are still preliminary. The official numbers will not be available until after the “11th day snapshot” required by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education. That enrollment data will be analyzed and reviewed for accuracy before a preliminary report is submitted to the department, with the final numbers set to be officially filed by mid-October.