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Building Enrollment While Raising the Bar: UC Starts Classes Sept. 20

The 2006 freshman class, the first to enroll in UC’s academic success plan, is the best-prepared class in recent history. Strong first-year enrollment is contributing to another populous year.

Date: 9/18/2006 12:00:00 AM
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823

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As fall quarter gets underway Sept. 20, University of Cincinnati projects an enrollment of 35,315 students, as of Friday, Sept. 15. This tops last year, which was UC’s largest enrollment in15 years. The increase reflects a strong freshman class, improved retention, an increase in transfer students, and solid graduate enrollment.

The 2006 freshman class of more than 5,000 students, the first to enroll in UC’s academic success plan, is the best-prepared class in recent history.  New admissions standards have resulted in the highest average ACT score ever recorded for an incoming class, more than double the number of National Merit Scholars, and the most Cincinnatus Scholarships ever awarded to academically qualified freshmen. More incoming freshman than ever before are applying Advanced Placement credits toward a head start on their college careers. By raising the bar, UC expects continuing improvement in retention and graduation rates, all part of the UC|21 Strategic Plan.

Final student numbers are reported in mid-October, but Sept. 15 projections now show that total university enrollment is up nearly 0.2 percent (61 students) over last fall. On the Uptown campus, enrollment is up 0.8 percent, or 199 students.

The percentage of baccalaureate-degree seeking students coming back to UC that entered UC as freshmen last year is at 80 percent, compared with 79 percent who returned as second-year students last fall. This suggests that UC is making progress on building student retention. The numbers also indicate UC’s transfer students are significantly up over last fall, as well as the number of students in graduate programs.

Despite an anticipated drop in the freshman class – due to new admissions standards for the entering class – early figures suggest just a 2.0 percent drop in freshmen over last year’s record freshman enrollment that was the highest in 15 years. UC expects 5,140 freshmen entering this fall, compared with 5,261 in fall 2005. The new standards for baccalaureate programs meant that first-year students needed to meet one of the following criteria:

The incoming freshman class was also the first incoming class required to submit an essay as part of their application to UC.

The new admissions standards were developed from analysis of student performance and retention, and reflect a nationwide trend of using admissions standards for success as part of the selection process. In a report from the Chronicle of Higher Education, data from the U.S. Department of Education over the 2004-2005 academic year showed that 83.4 percent of four-year public institutions used admissions test scores as part of their student selection criteria, 68.3 percent used high school GPA, and 29.8 percent considered high school class rank.

Caroline Miller, associate vice president for enrollment management, says even for those who did not meet the new UC standards, students seeking opportunity were not turned away, as applications were reviewed by a committee that determined the final selection process, and as students were directed toward further preparation at UC’s Center for Access and Transition; the regional campuses; or into a new summer preparation program that resulted in early college credit for incoming freshmen on West Campus.

Meanwhile, in terms of class quality, UC’s 39 National Merit Scholars in the freshman class more than double the 19 that entered in fall 2005 – a goal of the UC|21 Strategic Plan to attract the nation’s best and brightest students to campus. UC also expects more than 100 more Cincinnatus scholars in the freshman class over last year.

As fall quarter begins, applications and raising the bar on new standards are already underway for fall 2007, raising the GPA requirements for incoming freshmen next fall to 2.6. Class rank rises from 75 percent to 70 percent.

Seventy percent of this year’s entering students completed their applications over the Web. Last year was the first time that UC’s E-applications surpassed paper applications with 60 percent using that option, which first became available in 1995.

UC by the Numbers

For more information about the new year at UC, see:

Enrollment Trends & Projections

UC Welcomes Another Record Class

UC Mobile Picks Up Momentum, Adds New Features

UC Commuters Join the Morning Commute

UC Taking Proactive Approach to Crime Prevention

UC Construction: All Quiet (Almost) on West Campus

New Academic Programs

A Valuable Lesson: UC Students Help Build a Course on Personal Money Management

New Year Offers New Opportunity to Go Global

Scavenger Hunt Greets New Applied Science Students

Delectable Dining: UC's CenterCourt Named the Best in the Nation


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