ASU hits record enrollment

By Keith Boles - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The numbers are in and according to the Arkansas Department of Higher Education ASU main campus enrollment is at it's all time highest level.

Interim Chancellor Dan Howard said he's pleased with the numbers. "We've really had an exceptional year for student enrollment. We have 13,920 students that are accountable by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education."

Doctor Howard says the total number increases when you include the 300 full-time international students.

Howard, "That takes the numbers up to 14, 220 students which is an all-time high for our university."

The Spring enrollment numbers were 13, 239 compared to Fall of 2009 when enrollment stood at 12, 185.

That is just at the main ASU campus. Dr. Howard says those numbers put the main campus second behind Fayetteville as far as being the largest in the state.

Dr. Rick Stripling says one possible reason for the increased enrollment could be lottery scholarships.

Stripling, "We do have a high volume here of students that are on the lottery scholarship... so we see that there are the benefits of that." Stripling says they are still compiling financial numbers on scholarships and that will tell them where the money is coming from.

Dr. Howard says the enrollment record is significant since it occurred as admission standards were raised.

Howard, "We have raised our undergraduate admission standards and selectively increased our graduate admission standards. So typically when you raise admission standards your enrollment declines but ours actually has gone up."

Both Dr. Howard and Dr. Stripling say that one of the big enrollment groups they say is on the increase are the international students.

Howard, "We are globalizing our university under the themes of bringing the world to ASU and taking ASU to the world."

Freshman Sammy Cowgill from Pocahontas didn't expect to see a melting pot on campus.

"It's a lot more diversity than I thought it was... it's a lot more people to have friends with and it was pretty interesting coming here." Cowgill says he sees the most impact as far as increased student population in his lab classes. "They are pretty full up. " he says.

Dr. Stripling says yes there are other schools in the state that students can attend but the students here feel they've made the right choice.

Stripling, "You see people with smiles and their excited going to and from class you think that you're doing the right thing."

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