Lamar University sets record enrollment
Lamar University has set another all-time enrollment record. Official figures for the fall 2012 semester taken on the 20th class day show Lamar has the highest enrollment in the university’s history.
More specifically, Lamar’s headcount is 14,675, up 2 percent over fall 2011. Lamar’s official figure will be slightly lower, at 14,289, because 386 students who took flex term courses weren’t in the summer count and can’t be included in the fall numbers by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s counting rules.
Semester credit hours totaled 139,503, the second largest total in LU history, up 5.9 percent over Fall 2011.
The increase in headcount and semester credit hours comes despite an increase in tuition and raised freshman admission requirement, said Kevin Smith, senior associate provost and interim vice president for student engagement.
Lamar has seen an increase in new freshman, from 1,402 last fall to 1,686 today. The number of doctoral students has also grown, up from 262 to 344.
The university is also seeing an increase in the number of freshmen with high SAT scores, growing from 666 to 800 with SAT scores of 1010 and above; from 166 to 183 with SATs of 1200 and above; and from 11 to 21 with 1450 or higher SAT scores.
The percentage of new freshman from the top quartile of their class has grown from 31 percent to 34 percent.
“We are beginning to see the positive effects on enrollment of several important initiatives President Simmons began,” Smith said. Among them an emphasis on strategic enrollment management, the creation of the “I Will” program for individual admission, and increasing scholarship support through the university’s comprehensive campaign.
“The incredible enrollment growth that Lamar has seen since President Simmons took office is tied to his vision and hard work,” Smith said. “We had 8,149 students in fall 1999 and today we have 14,675 despite the fact that we’ve undergone two major hurricanes, continued to increase our admissions requirements, and had to increase tuition to meet budgets. Even with these challenges, he’s kept us moving forward.”
Among developments that have helped LU’s enrollment, Smith cites Simmons’ emphasis on student services and programs, creation of outstanding residence halls, international recruitment, the return of football, and continued growth of online learning.