Arkansas State University sets all-time spring enrollment record in Jonesboro

by George Jared ([email protected]) 1,467 views 

Arkansas State University.

Arkansas State University spring enrollment on the Jonesboro campus ticked up 11% to a record 13,896 students compared with spring 2023, Chancellor Todd Shields said.

The 11th-day student headcount is the highest ever for a spring semester, surpassing the previous record of 12,667 in 2014. It includes a 182% increase in new, first-time freshmen on the Jonesboro campus and a 27% rise in new graduate students compared with a year ago.

“This is just the beginning of what I believe will be explosive growth at Arkansas State as we work to help prospective students understand what an outstanding university we have,” Shields said. “Our value proposition for students and their families is strong, and our best days are ahead. We have enhanced our financial packages to make quality higher education attainable and affordable for Arkansans and beyond.”

Total spring enrollment including A-State Campus Queretaro is 14,678, up 1,336 students or 10% compared with a year ago. International student enrollment – which is mostly on-campus residents in Jonesboro and excludes Campus Queretaro – rose by 354 students or 47% to 1,104.

The College of Agriculture, the Neil Griffin College of Business, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, and the College of Nursing and Health Professions all recorded double-digit rates of increase in their student headcount. Notably, the university nearly doubled the number of new doctoral students compared with spring 2023.

“Our momentum is evident, and we expect a big fall enrollment increase with the addition of our A-State Promise Plus scholarship program,” said Dr. Calvin White Jr., provost and executive vice chancellor. “Arkansas families we serve first and foremost are responding to this financial assistance in a big way. We have opened the door to every Arkansan for opportunities at a growing, nationally recognized Carnegie Research 2 university.”

The A-State Promise Plus is a last-dollar scholarship for Arkansas families with a household income of less than $70,000 that will cover the remaining tuition cost once federal grants and the Arkansas Academic Challenge or Lottery Scholarship are applied to a qualified student’s account. Along with eliminating tuition costs, the “Plus” in the program is a $2,500 housing scholarship to assist first-year students who live on campus.

The impact of new A-State facilities showed in the Department of Art + Design enrollment, where the number of majors has jumped 94 percent from 167 to 324 since spring 2020. The Windgate Center for Three-Dimensional Arts opened in fall 2021, and plans are under way for the accompanying Windgate Hall of Art and Innovation made possible by an additional $25 million gift from the Windgate Foundation.

Also this spring, economics and finance majors are up 45% School of Nursing enrollment is 33% higher, the master of business administration program has surged by 78%, computer science majors are up 22% and digital technology and design majors are up 72%.

Progress continues on development of the state’s first College of Veterinary Medicine, which upon accreditation approval will complement A-State’s existing professional science programs in nursing, health professions and biosciences, as well as the NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine on campus. The vet school addition is expected to attract more than 400 students and new faculty who will reside in Jonesboro, while also attracting pre-veterinary medicine undergraduates.

“A-State is the destination university in Arkansas and the Mid-South for high school students wanting to pursue careers in health science,” Shields said. “The demands and needs to serve people and their pets are substantial, and we’re going to work hard to fulfill those and other high-demand fields by giving our students high-quality, visionary higher education opportunities.”

A-State’s online enrollment – the largest in Arkansas – continued growth in the spring semester with a 17% rise to 6,592 students.

The university reported record fall enrollment of 14,903 in 2023. Arkansas State determines official enrollment numbers based on data at the beginning of the semester’s 11th day of classes, in accordance with the Arkansas Department of Higher Education standards.