Enrollment rises and retention soars

As the new semester begins, preliminary reports show that John Brown University’s enrollment rates are the highest ever.

Traditional students number 1,317 this semester, according to the preliminary 11th Day report. In 2011, the numbers showed 1,279 traditional students on campus. Traditional students number

The report is traditionally used by colleges and universities to post enrollment information.

For the University, this comes out the day after the deadline to add a class or enroll during a traditional undergraduate semester. The 11th day was Sept. 6, but the official report for the semester will not be released until Oct. 1.

“This year we have our largest number of traditional students,” said Don Crandall, vice president of enrollment management. “Although new student numbers were strong, our greatest gain in enrollment is from the large freshman class from last year retaining at the highest rate ever.”

The total headcount for this year is 2,454, the highest ever. The traditional undergraduate total is 1,317. The retention rate of last year’s freshmen is 84.2 percent. The previous retention rate from 2010 was about 78 percent.

This fall brings 320 traditional undergraduate freshmen and 62 traditional undergraduate transfers.

The largest traditional undergraduate majors are:

Engineering –122

Graphic and Web Design – 99

Family and Human Services – 80

Business Administration – 77

Early Childhood Education – 74

The new students are from 40 different states and 39 different countries. States that boast the highest enrollment numbers include Arkansas with 470 and Texas with 165. Many international students came from South American countries, such as Honduras with 14, and Guatemala with 11.

To prepare for potential future increases, the University is currently building new residencies called the North Slope apartments.

“This should help accommodate us for further growth,” Crandall said. “Our admissions staff is already traveling again to recruit new students for 2013