UAFS Enrollment Down 3 Percent | Schools
University of Arkansas - Fort Smith officials released enrollment figures for the fall 2012 semester, and while the headcount is down 3 percent from last fall, officials are “very pleased” with the overall status of the four-year campus.
With an unduplicated headcount of 7,336, the University has, for the fourth successive fall semester, enrolled more than 7,300 students.
Chancellor Paul B. Beran lauded the on-going positive results for the Fort Smith university, especially as it relates to increased ACT scores, the entering first-time class size, the on-going full-time equivalent enrollments and the increase in the number of attendees age 25 and under.
Beran noted that the university saw an increase in the average ACT scores of first-time, full-time students to 21.96, which was considerably higher than both the national and state averages, as well as the second highest first-time entering class of 1,358 students, the third highest FTE enrollment of 5,748, and a record 72 percent enrollment of students age 25 and under.
“As a relatively new regional university it is important that we continue to attract and graduate the brightest students from our service area, and we are starting to see that happen now,” said Beran.
UAFS conferred an all-time record 627 bachelor’s degrees this past academic year for an 18 percent increase over the previous record year. In addition, the University reports the highest ever upper-class enrollments (junior- and senior-level students), with 2,445 students (or 33 percent of the total student body) in the pipeline to graduate.
Dr. Ray Wallace, provost and senior vice chancellor, noted other key indicators of strategically-focused growth.
“Two academic colleges showed distinct growth in enrollments -- the College of Languages and Communications with 23 percent growth in enrollment, and the College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, with almost 7 percent growth,” said Wallace. “Additionally, the University maintained its record full-time enrollment at 66 percent.”
Wallace also pointed to one of the reasons for rising ACT test scores at UAFS.
"Another thing we’ve done to increase ACT scores is to initiate what looks to be a very strong honors program,” he said. The Honors International Studies Program began this fall.
Wallace also noted that “the University continues to carefully monitor potential financial aid exploitation. Started last year, the University put a new policy in place that rules that students who receive failing grades in all courses for a given term are immediately placed on financial aid suspension.
“We continue to be a good steward of federal funds,” said Wallace. “If students fail to pass their courses -- through non-attendance, failure, or withdrawal -- it is imperative not to reward them with additional tax-payer funded revenue. The loss of such students through this responsible action has caused an overall small decline in the fall FTE enrollment.”