LSUA announces largest freshmen class since 2006 - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

LSUA announces largest freshmen class since 2006

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) – LSUA says freshmen enrollment up over 5% since Fall 2012.

On September 16, Louisiana State University at Alexandria announced the largest first-time freshmen class since 2006-2007. This semester, 390 first-time freshmen are registered at the university. LSUA said this number represents a 5.12% increase in first-time freshmen enrollment from Fall 2012 and the largest class since selective admissions began seven years ago. LSUA also reported a 16.2 % increase in re-entry students from Fall 2012 to Fall 2013 as well as a 2.17% increase in the number of transfer students. Overall, the total enrollment at LSUA stands at 2,236 students.

According to Interim Chancellor Dr. Paul Coreil, the university is moving in the right direction by making connections within the community, dedicating itself to a renewed marketing campaign and undertaking a restructuring of enrollment management.  "We are encouraged by the first-time freshmen enrollment numbers for this semester and believe we can and will continue to see improvements in all areas as we move forward," says Dr. Coreil. 

According to LSUA, the largest decrease in student population came from dual enrolled high school students with only 189 students registered. This past year the state funding was significantly reduced for high school students seeking to take college classes before graduation and this resulted in a loss of dual enrollment students. LSUA said it is taking steps to become more competitive and reach out to high school students with hopes to immediately improve dual enrollment admissions.   

When dual enrollment students are removed from the data, the total 2013 Fall enrollment stands at 2,046 students as compared to 2,086 students in Fall 2012. This represents a decrease of 40 students, or 1.87%. LSUA said it officially records enrollment at the end of the 14th day of class.  

The news regarding the freshmen class comes among a period of other achievements. Last week, U.S. News and World Report named LSUA as one of the top national liberal arts colleges when it comes to graduation debt.  LSUA ranked second in the country, only behind Berea College (KY), with an average student debt of only $11,501. According to American Student Assistance statistics, the national graduation debt average is $24,301. 

According to LSUA, in addition to the largest freshmen class in several years, a record 240 students are living in university-owned housing. This semester, The Oaks Residence Hall is at 96% capacity; the highest rate since the buildings opened in 2007.  

"We are very excited that these students have chosen to be part of the Oaks community at LSUA and we look forward to the continued growth to come," says Angie Reed, director of housing and residence hall activities.

The Oaks has room for 252 students and includes one, two and four bedroom apartments.  There is also a swimming pool, on-site laundry room, game room, and a computer lab for students to take advantage of. 

LSUA said it remains positive about the future of the university with several new programs on the horizon along with an expanded sports lineup. According to LSUA, recruitment for Spring and Fall 2014 has already begun on several fronts. The university is currently in the process of staffing a new Call Center to contact potential students. Additionally, LSUA is hiring an enrollment consultant and working with a nationally recognized student retention specialist on bettering the first year experience. LSUA said it will also be rolling out a new marketing campaign in the next several weeks. 

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