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UK Sets Enrollment Record

Contact: Mary Margaret Colliver

 

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This year’s freshman class of 3,693 students is the most academically talented group of first-year undergraduates in UK’s history. UK’s newest students include 318 Kentucky Governor’s Scholars and Governor’s School for the Arts students, 110 Legacy students, 145 high school class valedictorians, 45 National Merit Scholars, and two National Achievement Scholars.

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 12, 2003) -- The University of Kentucky today reported a record enrollment of 35,052 students for the fall semester 2003, an increase of 870 students over the previous year.

This year’s freshman class of 3,693 students is the most academically talented group of first-year undergraduates in UK’s history. UK’s newest students include 318 Kentucky Governor’s Scholars and Governor’s School for the Arts students, 110 Legacy students, 145 high school class valedictorians, 45 National Merit Scholars, and two National Achievement Scholars.

The middle 50 percent of the ACT scores of the incoming freshmen shows a composite of 22-27, well above the national average of 17-24 and equal to or better than a number of UK benchmark universities. The middle 50 percent grade point averages of the new students were 3.3-3.9, an increase over last year’s 3.2-3.8.

“We are very excited about the caliber of students entering the University of Kentucky,” said UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. “Having the most selective freshman class in history speaks volumes about the academic services offered at this institution.

“We are extremely pleased that our students’ academic credentials have steadily improved in recent years. This year’s middle 50 percent range of ACT scores is very close to our 2003-2006 Strategic Plan’s goal of 23-28,” said Todd.

Todd said he also is pleased with the over 30 percent increase in freshmen African American students. He attributed much of UK’s recruitment success to the hard work of the staff in the undergraduate admission and registrar’s office and minority affairs office.

Students enrolled at UK represent every Kentucky county and every state.

UK Provost Michael Nietzel attributed much of the success in attracting quality students to the fact that UK now offers scholarships to all Governor’s Scholars and Governor’s School for the Arts students.

“More than 25 percent of all new Kentucky’s Governor’s Scholars and Governor’s School for the Arts students enrolled at UK this fall,” said Nietzel. “This year we saw a 19 percent increase in the first-year cohort of these students attending UK.”

The preliminary figures show that increased undergraduate enrollment is prevalent in several academic areas, particularly in the colleges of Nursing, Arts and Sciences, and Education.

Graduate School enrollment is also at a new all-time high, up 2 percent from 2002. Most notably, the College of Engineering saw an increase of 12 percent, and the College of Medicine saw a 13 percent increase in the number of students pursuing a doctorate. The College of Communications and Information Studies saw an increase of 13 percent, and the College of Education experienced a 16 percent increase in its master’s program. The number of students enrolled in UK’s professional schools remained steady.

Lexington Community College continues its steady growth as well. LCC’s enrollment is up another 4.2 percent with a total of 8,639 students. The Winchester site has increased enrollment this year by 49 percent, up from 167 students to 249. LCC-South campus on Regency Road remained steady with 1,466 compared to 1,463 students last year. LCC had an 8 percent growth in students under the age of 19.

In other examples of growth, African-American enrollment and the combination of international and non-resident student enrollment each increased by 6 percent.

“We are very pleased that we enrolled a very solid group of international students, given all the obstacles they have faced following Sept. 11, 2001,” Nietzel said. “The increase in African-American enrollment can be attributed to the university’s intensified efforts at recruiting these students.”

Exact numbers may change modestly in the next several weeks as students are added or as they withdraw, 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 later in the fall semester.


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