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University: Another record year for UL enrollment

The Advertiser, September 16, 2015


For the second year in a row, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette has set a total enrollment record and a record for the size of its freshman class.
Overall enrollment for the Fall 2015 semester is 19,033.

Enrollment in degree-seeking programs is 17,508, which is 2 percent higher than Fall 2014 numbers.

The freshman class has 3,179 students, a 9 percent surge compared to the Fall 2014 freshman class.

“All three are record enrollments for the University. Not only did we see an increase in first-time freshman enrollment, but also in quality,” said DeWayne Bowie, the university’s vice president for enrollment management.

The fall 2015 freshman class reached an historic level for academic achievement. It posted an average ACT composite score of 23.4 and an average high school cumulative GPA of 3.32. In Fall 2014, the average ACT composite score was 23.10; the average high school cumulative GPA was 3.3.

“We also have a record number of high school valedictorians in this freshman class — 111. And, we have a significant boost in the number of first-time freshmen who have an ACT composite score of at least 25, with a 26 percent increase over last year,” Bowie said.

More UL students are pursuing advanced degrees. The number of students pursuing master’s degrees has jumped 22 percent over the past five years, Bowie reported. The number of students seeking doctorates has grown 18 percent in the same timeframe.

This year’s student body is more diverse. According to Bowie, there are 15 percent more Hispanic students, 5 percent more African-American students and 3 percent more female students, compared to the fall 2014 semester.

“The university continues to have representation and interest from all over the State of Louisiana,” Bowie said. He cited leaps in applications for admission from the following areas, compared to last year:

• Baton Rouge, 21 percent;
• Jefferson Parish, 21 percent;
• Orleans Parish, 25 percent; and
• St. Landry Parish, 21 percent.

Applications from high school graduates in Lafayette Parish were up 5 percent.

According to Bowie, UL has boosted its out-of-state recruitment efforts. “That paid off, with an overall 4 percent increase in out-of-state applications for admission,” he said. “We’re seeing significant increases in first-time freshman applications from several states, including Florida, 20 percent; Mississippi, 8 percent; and Illinois, 59 percent.

“At one time we were called the best kept secret. Well the secret is out and more and more people like what they see and hear about the University.”