University News

Along with Quality, SUU Enrollment Continues to Rise

Published: October 06, 2008 | Category: Academics

When the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) released its institutional student enrollment figures for the Fall 2008 semester this morning, the report once again affirmed what the SUU community already knew: the Thunderbirds are on the rise.

To SUU administrators, the only new information was just how much the school’s enrollment has risen from this time last year. With the University’s largest number of enrolled students to date, SUU’s current student body total headcount has risen 6.5 percent over last year, with 7,516 students filling classrooms this fall.

This marks one of the University’s highest enrollment jumps in the past decade.

So while this semester also marks the first time in four years that SUU has not led the system in enrollment growth, University administrators are confident SUU’s student population is increasing in direct correlation to its reputation.

States president Michael Benson, “Substantial and steady growth the past four years - and this year's even larger percentage increase than in years past - underlie the fact that SUU is becoming more and more the school of choice for many students.”

Benson credits this to the unique academic opportunities and campus environment SUU offers - truly distinct from all the other state institutions.

Perhaps even more important than that SUU's classrooms are filling with more students, is the noted increase in the quality of students pursuing degrees at Southern Utah University. According to SUU's Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Stephen Allen, “SUU is attracting more and more high quality students who are well-prepared for college-level work.”

In addition to impacting student retention, with more and more students enjoying academic success at SUU, Allen attributes the University’s increasingly competitive student base and enrollment growth each year to the heightened quality of the University’s academics, campus environment and student life.

Indeed, SUU is fast becoming known for offering a private, liberal arts type education at a public school price - a distinction which has landed SUU on the top of collegiate rankings for quality and value since the University first appeared on Consumers Digest’s national Top Ten list in 2004.

With a heightened rate of student growth and the University’s most recent institution-wide recognition coming this past July from The Princeton Review as a 2009 Best College in the West on its regional listing, there can be no doubt that SUU is headed in the right direction.

As to the future, Benson remarks, “We will continue to focus on quality, superb service, small classes taught by full-time faculty, and opportunities to get engaged that will continue to distinguish us from all other institutions in Utah and the region.”

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