A total of 5,287 students were enrolled when UMR’s fall semester began Aug. 25. That figure represents an increase of 3.1 percent over last year’s first-day enrollment and a 12 percent increase since the fall of 2000, says Laura Stoll, UMR registrar.
Last year, 5,126 students were enrolled on the first day of the fall semester.
This will be UMR’s ninth straight semester of enrollment increases and the largest new student class since 1985, with more than 890 freshmen and 300 new transfer students in classes on Aug. 25. University officials are also predicting a higher percentage of returning students this fall.
This year’s figures mark a significant student body increase for UMR since embracing a new strategic enrollment plan in 2001. "So many people have helped make this happen," said UMR Chancellor Gary Thomas. "A true team effort across our community has helped us attract and retain some of the nation’s finest students."
The new class represents a 10 percent increase over the fall 2002 semester. The freshman class profile indicates that this class ranks among the top seven percent in the nation. More than 40 percent of UMR’s incoming freshmen graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class.
"This is one of our largest and most talented freshmen classes in 15 years" says YT Shah, UMR provost.
To better control the new student growth, the university announced in June that it was closing freshmen admission for the engineering programs. Admission for late applicants was deferred to the winter semester, which begins in January.
"The campus did a great of preparing the large number of incoming students," says Jay Goff, UMR dean of enrollment management. "Our classes and campus residence halls are full. We leased some additional student housing that will help us meet the demand until UMR’s new 260-bed residential college opens next summer."
UMR expects to exceed its enrollment goals this year. The total enrollment is expected to top 5,500 students once enrollment for online and distance-education courses is complete. "We will continue to enroll students through the first few weeks of the fall semester," Goff says. "We typically gain about 200 students by the end of the fourth week of classes."