University Enrollment Hitting Record Highs At Start of Fall Semester

University Enrollment Hitting Record Highs At Start of Fall Semester
Photo by Russell Cothren

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – For the first time in school history, the University of Arkansas is welcoming more than 29,000 students to its campus for the fall 2021 semester with more than 15,000 coming from the state of Arkansas.

Overall enrollment, which includes undergraduates, graduates and law students, has hovered near 27,500 in each of the last five years, but this year’s increase will likely be the university’s largest in a decade, setting a new record. 

“Our enrollment numbers are nothing short of remarkable,” interim chancellor Charles Robinson said. “We have more Arkansans in our incoming class than ever before, and Arkansans account for the majority of our student body. We’re also seeing increases in out-of-state students, pointing to the U of A as a learning destination and career-building opportunity for Arkansans as well as students from across the country. These students will contribute to Arkansas’ economy and many will become employed by companies in Arkansas after graduation.”

These initial enrollment numbers are still subject to change as enrollment is continuing throughout the week, with a more precise count coming after the 11th day of classes. 

More than 15,000 Arkansans have enrolled this semester with nearly 2,800 as degree-seeking new freshmen, an expected new record for Arkansans in the incoming class. The total number of Arkansans enrolled is expected to be slightly below the record total, 15,418, set in 2012. 

Overall, the freshman class will be made up of more than 6,100 new students, besting the previous high of 5,065, set in 2017. 

The number of transfer students, now more than 1,600, is expected to set a new record. The combined  total of graduate and law students is on track to be more than 4,700.

“We are pleased to experience a robust campus once again, and we know how much both new freshman and continuing students were interested in being on campus and part of face-to-face learning,”  said Suzanne McCray, vice provost for enrollment and Dean of Admissions.  “And it is so encouraging to see our students eager to follow campus health guidelines in order to keep themselves and the rest of our community safe.  We all understand that these simple, but important measures will help us continue to enjoy an in-person experience throughout the semester.”

The numbers that are generated on the 11th day of classes will provide the enrollment “snapshot” required by the Department of Higher Education. Enrollment numbers will continue to change slightly as corrections are made and officially reported in October.

About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas' flagship institution, the U of A provides an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to Arkansas’ economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and creative activity while also providing training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the U of A among the top 3% of U.S. colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. See how the U of A works to build a better world at Arkansas Research News.


John Thomas, manager of university communications
University Relations


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