BY Charlie Bier
For the fifth consecutive year, a record number of students have enrolled at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
A total of 19,387 students registered for the Fall 2018 semester, up from the 19,291 who enrolled for Fall 2017.
“Enrollment continues to climb because we constantly strive to provide an academic, social and cultural environment that fosters student success. Applicants are choosing us because they recognize that,” said Dr. DeWayne Bowie, UL Lafayette’s vice president for Enrollment Management.
Increases in University graduate programs are a key reason for the overall rise. This semester, 2,050 graduate students are enrolled at the University. That’s almost 26 percent more than the 1,631 students who enrolled last fall.
Dr. Mary Farmer-Kaiser, dean of the Graduate School, said the increase is due to efforts to “expand access to graduate education.”
“We saw significant growth in the online MBA program, which is the single largest contributor. We also saw great growth in programs like counselor education, educational leadership, engineering, informatics, mathematics and psychology, to name a few,” Farmer-Kaiser said.
The University has also upped stipend amounts “to make our assistantships and fellowships more competitive.”
Academically-accomplished students are enrolling at the University as well, Bowie said.
There are 133 high school valedictorians among the 2,733 freshman in the Fall 2018 class, up from 114 last fall, for example. It is the second-largest number of high school valedictorians to enroll at the University.
The cumulative GPA of the freshman class is 3.4. Its average ACT score is 24. Both are the highest in University history.