Fall Enrollment Sets FTE Record; Most Academically Talented Entering Freshman Class in History
JONESBORO – Preliminary, unofficial data at Arkansas State University shows that the university increased its fulltime equivalency (FTE) enrollment, held steady with overall headcount, and admitted its most academically talented freshman class in the institution’s history.
Fulltime equivalency enrollment, which is a measure of actual credit-hour production, increased by nearly 100 students. At the same time, the number of new freshmen jumped to 1,676, which is 7.3 percent more than last year. The number of undergraduate students transferring from other institutions is up by 7.2 percent.
The new freshman class also is better prepared academically than ever before, with an average ACT score of 23. The enrollment numbers and quality of the entering class are some of the positive measures noted by university officials during an early analysis of enrollment trends.
The larger freshman class plus the boost in undergraduate transfers are testimony to Arkansas State’s appeal as a preferred destination for students. In fact, the increase is part of a five-year trend that shows 21.8 percent growth in transfers.
At 13,893, headcount enrollment was essentially unchanged from last fall’s record-setting 13,900. The number of undergraduate students is at an all-time high, at 10,205.
These and other numbers are based on a “snapshot” of enrollment statistics at the end of the 11th day of classes, the official census date for Arkansas public institutions of higher education.
“Given that ASU graduated or certificated almost 4,000 students and increased admission standards, these figures are heartening,” Chancellor Tim Hudson commented.
The growth in new freshman students was particularly noteworthy, he continued, especially in light of rising standards. “This year’s freshman class is better prepared academically than ever before, our most talented to date,” he added.
ASU’s higher admission standards resulted in more than 450 students not being able to achieve admission this year.
“This enrollment signifies unified efforts of several offices on campus – Recruitment, Financial Aid, Distance Education, International Office, Graduate School, Continuing Education, and Admissions, Records and Registration,” according to Dr. Rick Stripling, vice chancellor for Student Affairs. “In addition, faculty members have been superb in going above and beyond in recruiting for their various colleges. Students we graduated this past year show ASU is performing at high levels of recruiting and graduation. These are significant performance measures for a university.”
Enrollment of international students hit an all-time record of 856, an increase of 68, or 8.6 percent, above the comparable number of a year ago. This does not include international students who are in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program, which is non-credit instruction and not considered by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education for purposes of state funding.
The headcount in graduate-level programs declined slightly due to the record number of students at the doctoral, specialist’s or master’s levels earning graduate degrees last year.
The total headcount includes 1,703 students who are enrolled in other instructional sites that are associated with the Jonesboro campus. This includes 797 students who are enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs offered at ASU Degree Centers in Beebe, Blytheville, Forrest City, Mountain Home, Newport and West Memphis. Also, 498 students are attending ASU���Paragould and 405 students are enrolled in college-level coursework provided by ASU at area high schools.
Following further analysis to ensure completeness of the data, ASU will submit its enrollment information to the Arkansas Department of Higher Education in October, in accordance with the reporting requirements for institutions of higher education.
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