ASU official explains slightly low fall enrollment - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

ASU official explains slightly low fall enrollment

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- Arkansas State University's fall enrollment is down slightly compared to last year.

There has been a slight drop in enrollment this year at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. The school announced on Wednesday that they are about 300 students short compared to last school year.

Dr. Rick Stripling, vice chancellor for Student Affairs, said they knew there would be years where the population would grow, and times where it would go down.

"We had looked at increasing our academic standards over a period of several years and so the last five years we have been doing that," Stripling said.

He said most of the loss in enrollment comes from areas not on the actual campus.

"We see a lot of that actually is in degree centers that are actually not here on the campus and we see some of that in the online graduate level that's in Arkansas only," Stripling said.

But he said the head count is not taken into consideration when it comes to the school's funding.

"The FTE count is down about .08 percent which is a very minimum as far as that goes," he said. "They use that as a part of the funding, that's what we look at is to say okay here is how we prepare out budget and how we operate this university budget."

He said they also have to look at the number of graduates from past years.

"In '07-'08 we graduated a little over 2,000 students, if you look at this last year we graduated nearly 4,000 students in one year."

Even thought the university is short a few hundred students, the Freshmen class is already turning heads.

"We see the highest number in our GPA of our Freshmen class," Stripling said. "Our retention rate is 73.1 percent which is a great number when you look at the state average at 68 percent."

Stripling said the administration has been working to improve the quality of students who attend ASU so their success is even greater.

"Arkansas State University is attracting students of high quality who have very strong interests in the academic strength of the university."

ASU has about 13,500 students enrolled for the fall semester.

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