The number of enrolled students is up at NorthWest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville and the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville from a year ago. UA officials reported Thursday (Sept. 8) that campus enrollment topped 30,000, with a record number of more than 7,000 freshmen enrolled.
The 11th-day snapshot, required by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, indicates overall enrollment is 30,936 (including undergraduates, graduates and law students), an 8.3% increase over the previous year, one of the largest increases in the past decade, the college reported.
Freshman enrollment stood at 7,099 students, up 17.1% from a year ago. The UA said that marks the second consecutive year of unprecedented single-year growth in the freshman class. While there continues to be an influx of students from Texas, the UA said a record 15,479 students are from the Natural State, or roughly 50% of the total student population. Among the incoming freshmen class, 39.9% are from Arkansas.
“University of Arkansas enrollment is booming,” said Charles Robinson, interim chancellor at the UA. “We have record overall enrollment and highest ever new freshman enrollment. I am most proud of the record numbers of Arkansans in the freshman class and in overall enrollment. This continued growth underscores that the UA is a destination institution attracting students both in Arkansas and from across the country. The freshman class will have the highest incoming GPA in our history; these students are prepared to succeed. This is all good news for our campus and for our state.”
The university also reports that 1,144 of the students enrolled this fall come from other countries, and 1,543 students transferred to the UA from other institutions. Graduate students and those attending law school total 4,667 this semester.
The preliminary numbers indicate a significant increase in the number of students from diverse communities, with 7,101 students enrolled overall. The largest increase was among the Hispanic community, which rose 12.3% from a year ago.
NWACC also reported a 10.75% rise in fall enrollment from the fall semester last year. The two-year college reported 7,839 students this fall taking academic-credit courses. Overall the college has an enrollment of 9,475 students, which include those taking industry-credit and vocational courses. The preliminary enrollment was taken on the 11th day of classes.
“Enrollment growth requires intentionality and dedication from all our faculty, staff, advisors, deans and administrators,” said NWACC President Dr. Dennis Rittle. “Thank you, team NWACC, for working together in innovative and collaborative ways to serve our students and provide a high-quality workforce to our industry and university partners. Together we succeed.”
John Brown University in Siloam Springs has not responded to requests for its preliminary enrollment data.