SUU Enrollment Again Leads USHEOctober 09, 2007
Waiting for the Utah State Board of Regents’ USHE enrollment report felt like Christmas Eve on the campus of Southern Utah University. School officials knew they were in for a treat, but anxiously awaited the details to verify what an increasing number of Utah students already know: SUU provides a high quality, personalized undergraduate and graduate education that can’t be beat.
The individual attention, qualified professors and affordable programming available to all SUU students is to credit for the school’s continued enrollment growth. According to the Regents’ official report, released today, SUU’s 2007 fall semester enrollment is up 4.94 percent from this time last year. SUU has been leading the system in student enrollment in terms of percentage growth for the past three years.
SUU’s President Michael T. Benson stresses that while the University is “very pleased to have increased enrollment again this year and to lead the system in terms of percentage growth, school administrators will never lose sight of the unique experience that is SUU: small classes taught by full-time faculty with dedicated staff who care about each and every student that sets foot on campus.”
According to the Regents’ report, five of the Utah System of Higher Education’s nine schools are down in student enrollment this fall. In terms of growth, SUU is 1.5 percent above its closest contender – Utah Valley State College – for student growth across the system. It seems SUU is the place to be this 2007-08 school year.
According to SUU Enrollment Director Stephen Allen, “The latest enrollment reports validate the considerable time and effort put into growing the University. Students and parents are falling in love with SUU because it provides the experience of a small expensive private school at a public school price.”
Along with increasing enrollment, of particular import to University officials is the improving academic standards those students represent. SUU has seen a steady increase in the quality and diversity of enrolled students. The average ACT score for an incoming freshman is 22 – up from 21.5 last year.
This year’s fall enrollment increase is consistent with the growth SUU has seen over the past five years. The Regents’ annualized enrollment report, covering the Fall ’06, Spring ’07 and Summer ’07 semesters, credits SUU with a ten percent enrollment increase over the past year. With high hopes to continue expanding both its student base and course offerings, President Benson maintains SUU will continue to focus on the school’s niche: providing the public/private experience to students.
According to current students, this focus is right on target. As head of student recruitment, Allen asserts, “on the whole, SUU students are happy with their experience. It is much easier to recruit students to a place where students are happy with the education they are being provided.”
In addition, an increasing number of out-of-state students – seeing a 14.5 percent increase over the past year – attests to SUU’s heightened reputation across the region. SUU’s campus is comprised of students from all over the country and world with varied backgrounds and interests.