University of Arkansas student enrollment tops 30,000 for the first time

Preliminary reports show an 8.3% increase over last year

The University of Arkansas has once again reported a record number of students on campus, with an enrollment of 30,936 this fall. That's an 8.3% increase over last year.

The university also announced a new record for degree-seeking freshmen, with 7,099 students - or 17.1% more than last year - according to preliminary figures released Wednesday.

“University of Arkansas enrollment is booming,” interim Chancellor Charles Robinson said in a statement. “I am most proud of the record numbers of Arkansans in the freshman class and in overall enrollment. This continued growth underscores that the U of A is a destination institution attracting students both in Arkansas and from across the country."

About half of the students enrolled in classes this fall are from Arkansas, a number that officials said they're pleased with.

"One of the university’s top land-grant priorities is to provide access to higher education to Arkansans, and that mission continues," according to the school. The 15,479 count of in-state students is also a record, as is the 2,835 freshmen from Arkansas.

The Fayetteville campus continues to attract national and international students. Of the 15,457 out-of-state students, 1,144 of those are from outside the United States.

Officials said the preliminary numbers show a significant increase in diversity on campus, with 7,101 students enrolled from diverse backgrounds. That number jumped to a new record for the fourth straight year this fall. The largest increase was among the Hispanic community, which rose 12.3% from a year ago.

The university reported 1,543 transfer students, and the combined total of graduate and law students is now at 4,667.

"There are many reasons to celebrate the university's growth over the last two years," said Suzanne McCray, vice provost for enrollment and dean of admissions. "The campus has been working to get ahead of the much-anticipated enrollment cliff that is already starting to have an effect on college enrollments across this country. Expanding our enrollment now helps provide a buffer for our campus and for our community. And we have been able to grow while also increasing opportunities for Arkansans, access for diverse communities and academic preparation among incoming students."