Record Number of New Students Enroll at the UA
The freshman class grew by nearly 10 percent while academic quality and diversity also improved.

Johnny Cruz
Sept. 18, 2007

The University of Arizona has seen significant improvements, and set records in many cases, in total enrollment numbers, first-year retention rates, freshman class size and student diversity.

Newly released figures show that the UA has achieved a first-year persistence rate of 80 percent – the highest rate since the UA began recording retention data. This milestone has long been a priority for the University.

Total student enrollment has reached 37,217, with 29,070 students making up the undergraduate population – both record-breaking numbers. At 8,492, the number of new students also has set a record; plus, this is the first time in five years that number has moved above the 8,000-student threshold.

The enrollment figures include 6,569 new freshmen, 560 more than last year. Sixty three percent of the freshman class are Arizona residents. A record 36.8 percent of Arizona resident freshman and 30.1 percent of all freshmen are from minority backgrounds. This makes the class of 2011 the largest and one of the most diverse in the history of the UA.

The majority of new Arizona resident freshmen come from Maricopa County (1,820), followed by Pima County (1,549); record numbers from both counties.

Also, the UA has seen exceptional growth in the total number of African American students.

The numbers of African American, Native American and Hispanic freshmen reached record levels, led by a 44 percent increase in African American freshmen. Considering both undergraduate and graduate enrollment, the UA also has the largest total number of Asian American (2,201), Hispanic (5,431) and American Indian (940) students ever, bringing overall minority enrollment up to 9,714 students, 27.6 percent of the student population – the largest percentage ever.

“My goal is to increase enrollment to meet the needs of a growing Arizona population, while maintaining the quality befitting a premier research university,” UA President Robert Shelton said. “I’m gratified to see that we can achieve growth, quality and diversity while retaining more of our students than ever before.”

The enrollment figures are largely a result of huge numbers of applications this year. At 21,199, applications were up from 16,609 last year, or nearly 28 percent.

The figures are a clear indication that the UA, while becoming larger, has remained connected to its community.

Nearly every measure of academic quality has increased, despite the tremendous growth in enrollment and student diversity. The mean high school grade point average and the mean ACT score improved slightly and are now 3.31 and 23.5 respectively. The mean SAT score for new freshman this year of 1102 is nearly identical to last year’s average.

In the area of graduate and first professional students, slight increases were seen in the percentage of female enrollees (53.5 percent) and full-time students (71.5 percent). Also, at a record level of 21.2 percent of the graduate and first professional student population, graduate students increasingly come from a diverse background.

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