Release Date: 9/7/1999
Clarksville, Ark. --- University of the Ozarks officials on Tuesday announced a fall enrollment of 595 students, the largest since 1991 and a 12 percent increase over fall 1998 numbers.
Ozarks' fall enrollment includes 352 returning students and 243 new students, 176 of whom are entering freshmen. Other breakdowns include 296 males and 299 females, and 557 full-time students and 38 part-time students.
"A 12 percent increase is very significant for any college or university, so we're certainly excited about this news," said Jim Abbuhl, vice president for enrollment management. "The increase can be attributed to a lot of hard work by our faculty and staff to retain and recruit students."
The 595 students is the largest enrollment at the private, four-year liberals arts college since fall 1991 when 622 students were enrolled. It also marks a 12.3 percent increase over last year's enrollment of 530.
"Increasing our enrollment has been one of our primary goals for the past two years," said Ozarks President Dr. Rick Niece. "The long-range target is 750 students, with 450 of those students living on campus, and the extraordinary increase in enrollment this fall puts us well past our projected pace. The dramatic increase is a vote of confidence from students and their parents."
Despite the large increase in enrollment, university officials said there have been very few problems with residence hall space or facilities to accommodate the additional students. The hiring of additional faculty since last year has helped keep Ozarks' student-to-faculty ratio around 13:1 and the average class size to 16.
"Because we spent two years getting the campus infrastructure in place, we were ready for the influx of additional students," Dr. Niece said. "When a campus is not ready for additional students, student satisfaction and retention become an issue. That is not the case at Ozarks. As we grow, we will continue to provide the same personal attention and individualized service to our students that we always have."