The University of Arkansas reached its enrollment goal eight years ahead of schedule.
The university announced Friday that 25,365 students are enrolled this fall. University officials had hoped to cross the 25,000-student threshold by 2021, according to a press release issued by the Division of University Advancement.
The figure includes 21,083 undergraduate students, 3,904 graduate students and 378 law students. University enrollment has grown by about 6,000 students since 2008, making it one of the fastest-growing public schools in the nation, according to the university, which referenced a report by the Chronicle of Higher Education.
The numbers released Friday are preliminary and will not be official until the “11th day snapshot” is finalized and filed by mid-October.
The increase in enrollment reflects an overall upgrade in facilities, faculty, courses, diversity and student preparedness.
“This is a great time to be attending the University of Arkansas,” chancellor G. David Gearhart said. “We have grown bigger, better, smarter and are more diverse than ever before.”
Since 2011, the university has seen about $450 million in new construction. Since 2010, UA has added 60 tenure-track and 100 non tenure-track positions.
University officials credit the increase to outreach and recruitment, particularly in under-represented groups. There are 4,474 minority students at UA, an all-time high. The Internet has also sparked enrollment. There are 3,522 students taking at least one online class this fall, a 395 percent increase over 2008.
“Our reputation as a high-quality, nationally prestigious university is attracting outstanding students throughout Arkansas, across the United States, and all around the world,” Gearhart said. “At the same time we have firmly established ourselves as the school of choice in Arkansas.”