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Arkansas State Welcomes Best-Prepared Freshman Class


JONESBORO – Record-high student retention rates and the most academically qualified freshman class ever to arrive on campus highlight Arkansas State University's fall enrollment, Chancellor Tim Hudson said today.

“For the second consecutive year, we are pleased to be able to say that we are welcoming to campus the most academically qualified class of students in history,” Hudson said. “Clearly, Arkansas State is increasingly the right choice for many students who have a range of options.”

The first-time freshman ACT composite score rose to 23.3, a full three points higher than the state of Arkansas mark of 20.2 and well above the national average of 20.9. Arkansas State’s first-time freshmen also had a record-high 3.43 average high school GPA.

Thanks in part to improvements in on-campus housing and programs, more students are in residence for the fall of 2013 than at any time in school history. In turn, first-year (73.1 percent) and second-year (61.4 percent) retention rates are up and higher than the state of Arkansas averages.

“We believe that the more involved students are on their campus, the greater the opportunity that those students graduate,” Dr. Rick Stripling, vice chancellor for Student Affairs said. “We pride ourselves on being a destination university, a campus where students want to come and live as a part of a vibrant community while they complete their education.”

A-State reported an 11th-day head count of 13,538 for the fall 2013 semester. In addition, the total full-time equivalency, which is the basis for state appropriated funding, was essentially level from last year, down only 0.8 percent. Arkansas State’s 11th class day head count attendance last fall was 13,886.

Stripling said the 11th-day enrollment reflects a stable, although slightly lower, head count compared with last fall, but continues a trend of rising talent level among the incoming high school freshmen.

“Looking at the state’s demographics and considering our rising standards, we anticipated having an enrollment similar to what we received this fall,” Stripling said. “Moving forward, we believe our efforts in retention, particularly on-campus programs, will result in continuing increases in students graduating from Arkansas State.”

The incoming fall 2013 class replaces one of the largest graduation classes in Arkansas State history as the Jonesboro campus awarded 3,992 degrees and certifications last year, just seven less than the all-time mark set in 2011-12.

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