Enrollment up 4.4 percent at U of O

Release Date: 9/6/2000

CLARKSVILLE, Ark. ---University of the Ozarks officials on Wednesday announced a fall enrollment of 622 students, a 4.4 percent increase over fall 1999 numbers and the college's largest enrollment in almost 10 years.

Ozarks' fall enrollment of 622 is the largest since 1991 when the college also reported a fall enrollment of 622. This year's enrollment includes 374 returning students and 248 new students, 173 of whom are entering freshmen. There are 579 full-time students and 43 part-time students.

U of O President Dr. Rick Niece said the enrollment increase keeps the college on pace with its 10-year plan, developed in 1998, to reach an enrollment of 750.

"Our fall enrollment is excellent, especially in regard to new students on campus," Dr. Niece said. "The 4.4 percent increase from last fall places us well beyond our 10-year plan. In our initial projections, we thought that it would take us three more years to attain the enrollment we have this year."

Combined with last year's increase of 12.2 percent, Ozarks' enrollment has grown almost 17 percent in the past two years.

"A 17 percent increase in two years is phenomenal," said Jim Decker, director of admissions. "Last year the 12.2 percent increase was the largest in the state among four-year colleges, and to continue to increase over that number is wonderful. And, we're not just growing in numbers. The ACT and SAT scores of our students continue to exceed state and national averages and we've got six more Presidential Scholars than we had last year."

Dr. Niece said Ozarks was prepared for the increase in students, adding two new residence halls and renovating two existing halls within the past year. The college has also retained an average class size of approximately 16 students and a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1.

"We not only have more beds, we have a much more pleasant on-campus living environment for our students," Dr. Niece said. "We also added additional faculty and staff this year so that we can continue to provide the same personal attention and small class size our students are accustomed to.".