U of A Once Again Posts Record Enrollment, but Growth Is Slowing

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas welcomed 27,558 students to campus for the fall 2017 semester, a new record for enrollment. This marks the 19th consecutive year for enrollment growth at the U of A, but the 1.3 percent growth rate is considerably slower than the 12.3 percent growth over the past 5 years.

"This is the type of controlled, quality growth that we are striving for here at the University of Arkansas,” said Chancellor Joseph E. Steinmetz. “Suzanne McCray, our vice provost for enrollment, and Kim Needy, graduate school dean, and the entire recruitment staff for both undergraduate and graduate admissions have done an outstanding job of recruiting our largest and best qualified group of Arkansas students to campus, while still attracting exceptional students from across the country and around the world – all at a time when many institutions are seeing their enrollment numbers decline. This enrollment picture is great news for the U of A – and for the state of Arkansas.”

Arkansas residents make up 55.1 percent of the student body, with non-residents accounting for 39.6 percent and international students 5.3 percent.

Women outnumber men in the total enrollment, 52.5 percent to 47.5 percent.

Minority students make up 20 percent of the student body, with the largest groups being:

  • Hispanic, 8.1 percent, a 7.7 percent increase from last year
  • African American, 4.6 percent, a 3.1 percent decrease
  • Students identifying as being of two or more races, 3.4 percent, an increase of 10 percent.

“We still need to improve our ability to recruit qualified minority students from Arkansas to this campus,” Steinmetz said. “Enriching campus diversity and inclusion is one of our guiding priorities, and we are taking steps to achieve this goal. Providing more Advance Arkansas need-based scholarships is a key part of Campaign Arkansas, and will make a difference for qualified students who want to attend the U of A. We are also increasing recruitment efforts and devoting additional resources to preparing high school students in the eastern part of the state to encourage them to come to the Fayetteville campus.”

The incoming degree-seeking freshman class is the first at the U of A to have more than 5,000 students, with a total of 5,065. A record number of them are Arkansas residents, 2,476 or 48.9 percent of the class. The total class has a record grade point average of 3.69 and a record ACT average of 26.2.

Minority students make up 20 percent of the freshman class, with Hispanic and African American students making up the largest minority groups. There are:

  • 446 Hispanic students, or 8.8 percent of the class, an increase of 5.7 percent over 2016
  • 197 African American students, 3.9 percent of the class, a 1 percent increase over the previous year
  • Students who identify as being of two or more races, 4.3 percent, a 15.9 percent increase.

Women make up 54.9 percent of the freshman class, compared to 45.1 percent for men.

Overall, undergraduate enrollment also set a record, 23,044 students, a 2.2 percent increase. There was a 2.7 percent drop in the number of graduate students, to 4,161.

These numbers are based on the 11th day enrollment “snapshot” required by the Department of Higher Education, and taken this year on Sept. 5. The numbers are expected to change slightly as corrections are made and officially reported in October.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.

Contacts

Steve Voorhies, manager of media relations
University Relations
479-575-3583, voorhies@uark.edu

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