Growth at UC brings largest first-year class ever

Most diverse student body in school history keeps campus humming with activity

The University of Cincinnati recorded its largest enrollment ever this week as the official head count landed at 47,914 students for the fall semester. The figure represents nearly a 2.6% increase over last year’s enrollment or an additional 1,204 students.

UC’s first-year class is the largest ever with 8,218 students representing a nearly 16% increase. Overall, the UC student body is its most diverse ever with students of color representing 25.5%. The university saw its Black undergraduate population increase by 11% while its Latinx undergraduate population grew by 14%. 

UC continues to buck a national trend of declining college enrollment.

“We think of UC as a powerhouse on the football field but UC is a powerhouse educationally, too,” explains Jack Miner, vice provost for enrollment management. “This year, UC has students from every state and the District of Columbia but we also have students from 95 different countries around the world."

These first-year students law students are reaping the benefits of a $45.6 million building project recently completed.

The University of Cincinnati offers associate, bachelor's, master's ,doctoral and medical degrees at its Uptown, Blue Ash and Clermont campuses. UC Law students shown above began classes in a newly renovated College of Law building this semester. Photo by Joseph Fuqua II.

“Our first-year class is also our most academically prepared in UC’s history with the average incoming GPA for our Uptown campus students at 3.74 for this fall,” says Miner. “You can feel the energy of these incredible students as you walk around campus. The students energize our campus but they also energize our city.”

At public universities, the enrollment tally isn’t official until the “census” date, the 15th day of the fall term, which was Sept. 5, for UC.

Bearcats witness a decade of enrollment growth

A family grabs a selfie with the Bearcat on Mainstreet during check-in for family weekend on Friday, September 16th.

Bearcats are bringing their families to campus to get a taste of university life. UC Family Weekend is an annual hit with students and their families. Photo by Kalsie Joos/University of Cincinnati student.

2022 — 47,914

2021 — 46,710

2020 — 46,798

2019 — 46,388

2018 — 45,949

2017 — 44,783

2016 — 44,338

2015 — 44,251

2014 — 43,691

2013 — 42,656

Thousands of students were welcomed to UC during convocation at Fifth Third Arena.

Thousands of students were welcomed to UC during convocation at Fifth Third Arena. One of their first tasks is to learn the school spirit cheer 'Down the Drive.' Photo by Andrew Higley/UC Marketing + Brand.

Why UC?

Prospective students are taking notice of UC’s rise in stature as programs that emphasize cooperative education, innovation and urban impact gain more attention. UC’s athletic prowess and its entry into the Big 12 has also garnered national attention and electrified school spirit for students, alumni and Bearcat fans. University leaders noted these points of pride.

  • The college ranking and review service Niche released its 2023 college rankings and gave UC the top spot in the "Best college locations in Ohio'' category. The Bearcats also ranked second in the state for student life and public universities and first for value among Cincinnati-area colleges.
  • U.S. News & World Report has for the first time ranked UC as a top place of innovation for national institutions. Innovation is a key platform in UC President Neville Pinto’s strategic direction for the university, Next Lives Here. Through this effort, UC is dedicated to pushing limits and challenging minds by providing the space and opportunity for people from diverse backgrounds to connect, imagine and discover.
  • UC’s leadership in the area of co-op has been recognized by Forbes for improving work readiness for college graduates. UC ranks #1 among public universities in the nation for co-op, with Cincinnati’s hands-on classroom extending to nearly every corner of the globe, from Fortune 500 companies to trailblazing experiences in places like China, Tanzania and South America.
  • UC students earn a collective $75 million annually working for thousands of employers including General Electric Aviation, Disney, Toyota, Kroger, Procter & Gamble and many more. UC has nearly 2,000 global partners for the co-op program with students participating in over 7,500 co-op opportunities each year.
  • UC’s commitment to the Cincinnati community was further enhanced with the establishment of the Marian Spencer Scholarship. It was launched last year to bolster UC's commitment to Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) by granting scholarship support for high-achieving CPS students. An investment of $6 million — made possible by a gift from UC alumnus and venture capitalist Jim Goetz and university matching funds — is allowing 10 CPS students a year to receive full tuition, room and board scholarships and other opportunities.
UC student holds sign saying 'My first UC Family Weekend'

UC Family Weekend drew more than 5,000 people to the Uptown campus. It was designed to introduce families of UC students to university life. Photo by Hayley Jarman/University of Cincinnati student.

“UC has incredible momentum right now from unprecedented growth to our co-op program being named the best among public universities to rankings like Niche who rate UC as being the best college location in Ohio,” says Miner. “This is our time to shine.”

“Beyond just having our largest enrollment ever, it is important to recognize that UC saw growth among Black students, Latinx students and first-generation students,” says Miner. “UC looks more like this city than we ever have in our history. We are serving the city whose name we say so proudly: We are Cincinnati.”

Featured top image of a Bearcat pep rally was taken by Andrew Higley/UC Marketing + Brand.

Impact Lives Here

The University of Cincinnati is leading public urban universities into a new era of innovation and impact. Our faculty, staff and students are saving lives, changing outcomes and bending the future in our city's direction. Next Lives Here.

Take a UC virtual visit and begin picturing yourself at an institution that inspires incredible stories.

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