Southern Utah University’s enrollment growth for this fall is exciting news in Cedar City and is right on track with the long-range plan in place with the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE). SUU increased by 3.09% in budget-related FTE, measuring the fulltime equivalent student population at the University. These numbers, however, only tell part of the story.
The University’s provost, Brad Cook, was pleased to see not only a larger incoming class, but a stronger one this year. “This class is better academically prepared than their predecessors, and we believe that will translate into greater success at our University.” In fact, according to SUU’s associate vice president for enrollment management, Stephen Allen, “This year’s incoming freshmen class is the most academically prepared group in the school’s history.”
To this, SUU President Michael Benson said, “Not only do students continue to choose the quality of an SUU education, they work hard to prepare long before they join our campus to meet the increased admission requirements we’ve set forth.” Of this year’s significant enrollment increase, following a slight dip in student head count last year, Cook said, “This puts us back on track for our planned 2.5% growth rate that we continue to work on as part of the USHE plan.”
The new student growth is just part of the institution’s plan to graduate more students. The growth works hand in hand with increased student retention efforts across campus to guide more students towards successfully achieving their ultimate academic goals. “We want to see more students graduate from SUU,” said Vice President for Student Services Donna Eddleman. “Our top priority is to raise the percentage of students who leave this campus with a degree in their hands, and we are making progress on that front. Our 2006 cohort graduated at a three-percent higher rate than our 2005 cohort. That is real progress.”
“As we continue to refine and improve the Liberal Arts education we deliver at SUU we find more students and parents excited to be a part of our campus,” said President Benson. “This healthy and planned growth is precisely where we want to be.” The University’s enrollment now exceeds 8,100, with students coming from 45 different states and 37 countries from around the world. The University’s reputation continues to attract students locally and beyond.
Overall, the number of students attending Utah’s colleges and universities held steady this year with a slight net decrease in the fall of 2012.