Arkansas Tech Enrollment Up 6.6 Percent

Never again can Arkansas Tech University be accurately described as a small college.

Arkansas Tech announced a school-record fall 2011 enrollment figure of 10,464 students on its campuses in Russellville and Ozark on Friday, which is up from the 9,815 students that Tech had in fall 2010.

Enrollment at Arkansas Tech increased 6.6 percent over the past 12 months, and the university has seen its enrollment grow by 147 percent since 1997.

Fall 2011 enrollment figures became official at the end of Thursday, which was the 11th class day of the semester.
This fall marks the first time that Arkansas Tech has been home to more than 10,000 students. It is the 13th consecutive year in which Arkansas Tech has established a new school record for enrollment.
“Our track record of growth over the past 13 years is unmatched by any public university in the state of Arkansas,” said Dr. Robert C. Brown, Arkansas Tech president since 1993. “The success story of Arkansas Tech is rooted in the excellence and dedication of our people. The faculty, staff, students and alumni of this university can be proud of what we have built together. Regardless of the changing and sometimes challenging circumstances around us, Arkansas Tech continues to thrive.”
Among the challenges that Arkansas Tech faced in recent months was the implementation of Act 323 of the 87th Arkansas General Assembly.

The law mandated that public universities and colleges in Arkansas cannot spend more than 30 percent of their unrestricted educational and general tuition and fee income on scholarships during the 2011-12 fiscal year. The percentage mandated by Act 323 of 2009 drops the figure to 25 percent in 2012-13 and 20 percent beginning in 2013-14.

Arkansas Tech is spending just 19.23 percent of its unrestricted educational and general tuition and fee income on scholarships during the 2011-12 academic year, which puts the university in line with Act 323 of 2009 guidelines two years ahead of schedule.

“When Act 323 was passed in 2009, we developed a scholarship task force that was charged with developing a plan that would allow us to comply with the law while maintaining our enrollment,” said Brown. “Under the leadership of Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance David Moseley, the members of the scholarship task force rendered a great service to Arkansas Tech. Because of their diligence and expertise, today we stand in full compliance with the law and our growth continues unabated.”

Despite the new limitations on university-funded scholarships, Arkansas Tech enrolled a school-record total of 1,589 freshmen for the fall 2011 semester. The previous school record of 1,527 freshmen was set in fall 2009.

The high school grade point average for members of the Tech Class of 2015 is 3.22, and first-time freshmen at Tech this fall had an average ACT score of 22.3.

This marks the 17th consecutive year in which the Arkansas Tech freshman class has beaten the national average on the ACT exam.

“The Arkansas Tech policy of moderately selective admissions standards is among the key factors in our success,” said Brown. “Arkansas cannot and will not realize its full potential for economic development unless we increase the percentage of our adult population that holds a baccalaureate degree. Arkansas Tech only admits those students whose academic track record indicates an ability to complete a baccalaureate degree program. We focus on providing those students with the tools they need to persist to graduation, and the results speak for themselves.”

More than 53 percent of the degrees that Arkansas Tech has conferred during its 102-year history have been earned since 1993. Arkansas Tech students have earned more than 18,800 degrees in the last 18 years.

In addition to its 10,464 students who are eligible for headcount enrollment reporting to the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, Arkansas Tech has another 64 students who are enrolled exclusively in its English Language Institute.