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Most Arkansas colleges, universities enroll slightly lower numbers | News

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Most Arkansas colleges, universities enroll slightly lower numbers
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Most Arkansas colleges, universities enroll slightly lower numbers

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (ADHE) – The number of students enrolled in higher education on the 11th day of classes in Arkansas is down one percent overall as compared to last fall, said officials with the Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE) Thursday, with a total of 168,816 at both public and private schools.

“Final enrollment numbers won’t be available until after the semester ends,” said Shane Broadway, director of ADHE, “but we don’t expect big changes based on what we’ve been seeing the last couple years.

“Numbers are trending to what they were before the recession when many Arkansans lost their jobs,” Broadway continued, “and began looking for more opportunities by way of a higher education.”

The four-year universities saw an average increase in enrollment of 0.3 percent, while the two-year colleges saw a decrease in enrollment of 4.7 percent. Total public institution enrollment decreased by 1.5 percent.

Arkansas Tech University in Russellville once again this year had the highest increase in enrollment, growing its student body by 5.6 percent to 12,003. Southern Arkansas University raised its enrollment by 3.9 percent to 3,538 students. University of Arkansas at Fayetteville saw an increase of 3.5 percent, with 26,237 students enrolled. Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, University of Central Arkansas in Conway and University of Arkansas Medical Sciences in Little Rock also saw increases in enrollment, while others had decreases ranging from 1.0 to 5.6 percent.

Two-year schools with the highest increases include Arkansas State University-Newport, which had a jump of 22.3 percent to a total of 2,494 students. Mid-South Community College in West Memphis had an increase of 6.9 percent, bringing its headcount to 1,917. South Arkansas Community College of El Dorado had the third-largest increase at 5.1 percent, with 1,715 students enrolled for fall. Rich Mountain Community College of Mena and Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas in De Queen had an increase of 4.8 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively. North West Arkansas Community College of Bentonville had an increase of 0.5 percent, while Arkansas Northeastern College of Blytheville remained flat. The other 15 colleges had decreases ranging from 2.4 to 13.2 percent.

The private schools saw an average increase in enrollment of 2.1 percent. Baptist School of Nursing increased its enrollment by 51.6 percent year over year, while Jefferson School of Nursing had an increase of 1.4 percent.

The ADHE is responsible for carrying out the policy directives of the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board (AHECB), approving and reviewing college and university academic programs and developing funding recommendations for the state’s 11 public universities and 22 public two-year colleges as well as several other post-secondary entities. In addition, the agency is responsible for distributing approximately $140 million annually from state revenues and lottery funds intended to ease the financial burden of students seeking an education beyond high school.

The application period for all ADHE scholarships is Jan. 1 through June 1 for the upcoming 2015-16 academic year. For more information regarding scholarship application, visit www.adhe.edu

(Source: Arkansas Department of Higher Education)

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