UCA fall enrollment increases for third consecutive year

Fall EnrollmentThe University of Central Arkansas experienced an increase in total fall enrollment for a third consecutive year, accounting for a 5.8 percent increase in overall fall enrollment since 2012, according to preliminary enrollment data.

Total enrollment for fall 2015 is 11,754 in comparison to the total enrollment in fall 2014, which was 11,698. Enrollment for fall 2013 was 11,534 and fall 2012 was 11,107.

“We are pleased with the enrollment numbers for this fall. The upward trend is continuing at UCA, and we have done this while simultaneously raising our admission standards. We are particularly pleased with the 2.5 percent increase in our retention rate. This is extraordinary growth. The amount of transfer students and graduate students has also increased. These are very good trends,” said UCA President Tom Courtway.

Retention for full-time, first-time undergraduates increased from 69.9 percent from fall 2013 to 72.4 percent from fall 2014. Graduate student enrollment is 1,867, while last year the number was 1,856 and the number of transfer students increased to 775 compared to 618 last year.

New admission standards approved by the UCA Board of Trustees requires first-time undergraduate students to have a minimum grade point average of 2.75 and a score of 20 on the ACT beginning fall 2015. As a result, first-time undergraduate enrollment decreased from 2,232 to 2,046 in fall 2014 and fall 2015, respectively. Conversely, the average ACT score this year for first-time undergraduate students is 23.7. Last year, the average was 23.3.

“We are very pleased to see that our efforts to help our undergraduate students stay in school and make progress toward earning a degree are starting to bear fruit. This is just the beginning of the process of enhancing our retention and graduation rates, and it is a good start. We are also happy to note that the number of transfer students entering UCA is up for fall 2015,” said Dr. Steven Runge, executive vice president and provost.

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