ASU Enrollment Second Highest in History;
Graduate Enrollment Sets Record
Multiple recruiting and retention initiatives at Angelo State University have resulted in the second largest enrollment ever at the university.
Figures for the 12th class day, the official reporting date for universities statewide, show an overall 2009 fall enrollment of 6,383, up 3.7 percent over the 6,155 enrolled for fall of 2008. ASU’s record enrollment was set two decades ago when 6,408 took classes in the fall of 1989. The enrollment increase stopped a trend of declining enrollment that began in 2006.
In addition to the total enrollment, other significant totals included graduate enrollment surpassing 500 for the first time; an improvement in retention between the freshman and sophomore years for first-time new students; and a Hispanic enrollment which exceeds 25 percent of the total and qualifies ASU to apply to the federal government for Hispanic Serving Institution status.
“While one year does not make a trend,” said ASU President Joseph C. Rallo, “we are pleased with the 12th class day totals and believe they reflect various initiatives we have taken over the last two years to broaden our appeal to prospective students and to better accommodate the needs of our current students.”
Kent Hance, chancellor of the Texas Tech University System, said “My goal for ASU is 10,000 students by 2020. I am confident we will achieve that goal.”
ASU initiatives over the last two years have included increasing campus activities and making ASU a residential campus; implementing Rambunctious Weekend and a First-Year Experience program for incoming students; expanding retention efforts and programming for existing students; and expanding ASU’s marketing budget and reach.
Graduate enrollment for 2009 totaled 527, the highest total ever for the College of Graduate Studies. The graduate totals include 20 students in Physical Therapy, ASU’s first doctoral program which is on target to confer doctorates in 2012.
Retention between the freshman and sophomore years for first-time new students was 58.6 percent, compared to 55.9 percent for last fall.
ASU’s Hispanic enrollment for the fall stood at 25.08 percent, marking the first time it has exceeded the 25 percent level in university history. Achieving Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) status has been a strategic goal for ASU for the last two years. Once Hispanics total a minimum of 25 percent of the undergraduate enrollment, the institution is able to apply for the HSI designation from the federal government. The application is the first part of a two-part process that looks at Hispanic enrollment and student participation in need-based financial aid programs.
At least 50 percent of students must then receive need-based assistance or a substantial percentage of them receive Federal Pell grants for a university to be eligible for HSI status. ASU has consistently met those financial aid requirements. Once institutions are granted HSI status, they become eligible for additional federal dollars to support their educational mission and provide programs for all the university’s students, regardless of their ethnicity.
Comparisons by classification for the fall 2009 and 2008 enrollment with the percentage change were: freshman, 2,103, 2,111, -0.38 percent; sophomore, 1,264, 1,140, 10.88 percent; junior, 973, 991, -1.82 percent; senior, 1,392, 1,292, 7.74 percent; unclassified, 124, 128, -3.13 percent; and graduate, 527, 493, 6.9 percent; total, 6,383, 6,155, 3.7 percent.
Additionally, the semester credit hours taken by both graduate and undergraduate students were up 2.75 percent, totaling 79,425 for this fall, compared to 77,302 for last fall.
Students representing 220 of the 254 counties in Texas enrolled in ASU this fall. The top five counties in enrollment numbers after Tom Green with 2,297 students are Bexar, 186; Williamson, 139; Tarrant, 131; Travis, 130; and Dallas, 109.
Additionally, 39 states are represented in ASU’s fall enrollment totals. Besides Texas, the top states in enrollment are New Mexico, 35; California, 11; Oklahoma, 8; Florida, 7; and Arkansas and Arizona, each with 5.
International enrollment totaled 62 students from 20 other countries with the top five being Mexico, 12; Germany, 10; Netherlands, 6; Nigeria, 5; and France, 4.