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University: UL freshman class approaching record numbers

Ken Stickney, The Advertiser, July 9, 2015

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette may soon welcome its largest freshman class ever.

DeWayne Bowie, vice president for enrollment management, said this week that first-year students who enroll next month may surpass 3,000 freshmen and challenge the record set by the 1998 freshman class of 3,100, UL’s largest ever.

“It will be one of the largest, for sure,” Bowie said of the entering freshman class.

Bowie said UL is “reaping the benefits of the university brand,” which he said has become stronger in recent years with the initiation of selective admissions on campus, improved facilities and winning sports teams.

“That can transform a campus,” he said. “The university is becoming an institution of choice.”

Bowie said UL enrolled 17,195 students last fall, a record number, and said registration numbers suggest big numbers this year.

He said students and parents are impressed with new campus facilities, such as the student center, which he described as “very inviting.”

Other factors also influence enrollment, he said, including among them academic counseling and successful student placement in jobs.

“Students feel like they attend where people care about them,” he said. “We hear that from parents and from students.”