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University of Kentucky Freshman Class
Largest in School's History

By Kelley Bozeman

 

"During the past year, we have been very aggressive in getting UK's message out to the students of Kentucky and our alumni. I couldn't be more pleased with the demand for UK's academic services. I attribute much of our success in this area to the hard work of the staff members in our Office of Undergraduate Admission and Registrar."

-- Lee T. Todd Jr.,
president,
University of Kentucky

To see a slide presentation on the 2002-2003 enrollment, click here.

To see a slide presentation on Lexington Community College's 2002-2003 enrollment, click here.

Sept. 9, 2002 (Lexington, Ky.) -- The University of Kentucky today reported record enrollment of 34,182 students for the fall semester 2002, an increase of 5 percent over the previous year.

The all-time high enrollment for the undergraduate, graduate and professional colleges, UK Chandler Medical Center colleges and Lexington Community College includes increases in virtually all academic areas and an 18 percent surge of freshmen.

"I am very pleased with these numbers," said UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. "During the past year, we have been very aggressive in getting UK's message out to the students of Kentucky and our alumni. I couldn't be more pleased with the demand for UK's academic services. I attribute much of our success in this area to the hard work of the staff members in our Office of Undergraduate Admission and Registrar."

Acting Provost Michael Nietzel attributed much of the jump in undergraduate enrollments to two sources -- scholarships being made available to all Governor's Scholars and Governor's School for the Arts students, and the implementation of the Legacy Tuition Program, which allows children of UK alumni living out of state to attend the university at the in-state tuition rate.

"Offering scholarships to all Governor's Scholars and Governor's School for the Arts students turned out to be extremely successful," Nietzel said. He added that the number of Governor's Scholars attending UK this year more than doubled from the previous year.

The quality and the quantity of the fall 2002 freshman class showed gains with 3,722 students enrolled contrasted with 3,140 the previous year. The class includes 272 Governor's Scholars and Governor's School for the Arts students, 79 Legacy students, 148 high school class valedictorians, 51 National Merit Scholars, one National Achievement Scholar and one National Hispanic Scholar.

The middle 50 percent of the ACT scores of the entering freshmen shows a composite of 22-27, above the national averages of 17-24 and equal to UK benchmarks Ohio State, Purdue, Iowa and Minnesota. The middle 50 percent grade point averages of the new students were 3.2-3.9, an increase over last year's 3.2-3.8.

"It should be noted that it is very difficult to increase class size and also improve the quality of students, but we have done that with this freshman class," Nietzel said.

Lexington Community College continues its growth. LCC is up another 6 percent in enrollment with 8,291 students. The Winchester branch has increased enrollment this year by 34 percent, up from 125 students to 167. LCC's South campus is up 7 percent with 1,463 students. Last year LCC ranked fifth on the list of the nation's top 50 fastest growing public two-year colleges with enrollments between 5,000 and 9,999 students.

The preliminary figures show that increased enrollment is prevalent in virtually every academic area. The numbers may change modestly as students are added or as they withdraw in the next few weeks, but based on previous years' enrollments, trends are expected to remain close to the preliminary figures.

Final numbers will be reported to the Council on Postsecondary Education Nov. 1, 2002.

Areas with notable enrollment increases include agriculture, arts and sciences, communications and information studies, engineering, and nursing.
In other examples of growth, both international and non-resident student enrollment and graduate school enrollment at UK increased by 7 percent. Most notably, the College of Engineering saw an increase of 36 percent in the number of students pursuing a doctorate, the College of Nursing saw an increase of 19 percent and the College of Social Work experienced a 20 percent increase in its master's program.

"We are very excited about the increases in engineering, nursing and social work," said Nietzel. "These are all areas that are state priorities and are important for the economic development and the physical and social well-being of our citizens."

The number of female students in the freshman class outpaced the number of male students (54 percent to 46 percent). Overall African-American enrollment at UK increased by 2 percent.

"The university has worked very hard and has been very proactive in its recruitment of minority students," said Nietzel. "Our Admissions Office and the Office of Minority Affairs have worked closely together to focus and enhance recruitment efforts."

"The positive enrollment news is a direct result of the 'team philosophy' that is very pervasive across the entire campus, from recruiting, orientation, advising, to registration and matriculation," said Don Witt, director of undergraduate admission and university registrar. Faculty, staff and the administration have all contributed to this year's success. "


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