LAFAYETTE, Louisiana – The number of freshmen at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette has increased by more than 15%.
A total of 2,693 freshmen are enrolled at UL Lafayette for the fall 2021 semester. That’s up from 2,338 last fall and marks a 15.2% increase, noted Dr. DeWayne Bowie. , vice-president of registration management.
âMore and more freshmen are choosing UL Lafayette because of the University’s solid reputation for providing exceptional educational experiences and opportunities in a close-knit and friendly community,â said Bowie.
“Small class sizes, one-on-one instruction, affordability, and nationally-ranked academic programs are some of the reasons students choose to pursue their dreams here,” he added.
UL Lafayette released registration data for fall 2021 on Wednesday.
The rise in the number of first-time freshmen is one of several areas of enrollment growth the University has seen at the start of the new academic year compared to last fall. Among these are:
a 5.7% increase in the number of high school juniors and seniors who are double enrolled in university and who earn college credits while still in high school;
a 4.4% increase in the number of students transferred to UL Lafayette from other colleges and universities; and
a 3.9% increase in enrollment in graduate studies.
A total of 2,525 graduate students are enrolled this fall, up 95 from fall 2020.
The number of students pursuing masters and doctorates has increased by 66% in five years, noted Dr. Mary Farmer-Kaiser, Dean of the Graduate School. UL Lafayette had 1,521 graduate students in the fall of 2016.
Farmer-Kaiser attributed the leap to the growth in online delivery of the MBA program, the high retention rates in the University’s nearly 50 master’s and doctoral programs, the creation of new study programs. graduate and further expansion into online and executive formats.
In the past year, UL Lafayette introduced an online option for Louisiana’s only master’s degree in computer science program and the state’s only master’s degree in industrial chemistry. A new graduate certificate program in population health will begin in spring 2021.
âThe enrollment growth that we continue to see reflects an institutional commitment to graduate studies. It’s also a testament to the quality and resilience of the graduate students who enroll here and the faculty members who are completely dedicated to their success, âsaid Farmer-Kaiser.
UL Lafayette has 13,700 undergraduate students this semester, which, combined with the total of graduate studies, brings the number of degree-seeking students to 16,225 students. That’s 225 students less than the fall 2020 semester and a drop of 1.4%.
âStudents who continue remain a challenge,â Bowie explained. âWhile our overall retention rate is at an all time high, the smaller consecutive freshman classes several years ago resulted in fewer continuing students.
âWe have also had record breaking classes over the last few years at university. These two factors have affected our enrollment in the pursuit of a degree, âhe said.
However, 2,978 additional uncredited students bring UL Lafayette’s overall enrollment to 19,203. This is 25 more students than last fall.
Non-credit students include those taking professional development and training courses and continuing education courses.
Louisiana’s public colleges and universities register full-time and part-time students on the 14th day of class of each fall semester, Bowie explained. Totals are reported to the Louisiana Board of Regents and, in the case of UL Lafayette, to the University of Louisiana system as well.
âThe census compiles enrollment totals, but it also provides the University with an overview of who our students are,â he said.
For example, the fall 2021 census shows that the number of black students at UL Lafayette increased 7.6% from last fall. Black students now make up nearly 22% of the student body.
Students come from 63 parishes in Louisiana; 48 states, US possessions and the District of Columbia; and 87 international countries.
Photo caption: UL Lafayette released enrollment figures for fall 2021 on Wednesday (Photo credit: Doug Dugas / University of Louisiana at Lafayette)