LU enrollment sets record despite challenges
Lamar University has set another all-time enrollment record, officials announced today. Official figures for the fall 2011 semester taken on the 20th class day show Lamar has set the highest enrollment in the university’s 88-year history.
More specifically, Lamar's headcount is 14,522, up 1 percent over last fall's record enrollment of 14,388. Semester credit hours totaled 141,748, up .06 percent over last fall’s 140,904.
The increase in headcount and semester credit hours comes despite the sour economy, increase in tuition and cuts in state appropriations, said Kevin Smith, senior associate provost at Lamar.
Among factors Smith credits are new on-line degree programs, including the on-line M.Ed. in Counseling and the new on-line Doctorate in Education.
Also, the university’s new ROOTS entry program allows some first-time-in-college students to earn their way to regular admission, Smith said.
Hard work by LU’s admissions and retention representatives and others in the university’s newly created Strategic Enrollment Management division are helping Lamar draw, retain and graduate more students, he said.
“The current challenges of finding employment and the poor overall economic climate are leading some students to enroll in higher education to invest in their human capital rather than go straight into the workforce,” Smith said.
Strong scholarship support continues to be key in helping many students realize their goals of a college degree. “Many alumni and friends generously contributed scholarships that allow students to continue their matriculation in these hard times,” Smith said. “Their support is vital.”