Enrollment continues to be strong in Appalachian State University’s main campus programs, and the number of underrepresented students for fall 2015 as well as graduation rates have increased.
“Appalachian remains a popular destination for students, and when they arrive on campus they are academically successful and they persist to graduation,” according to Susan Davies, associate vice chancellor for enrollment services.
According to a preliminary report, a total of 17,931 students have enrolled for fall semester. That’s down slightly from last year’s fall total of 18,026 and is attributed to a decline in enrollment in the university’s distance education programs. Enrollment numbers will be finalized by the end of September when they are submitted to UNC General Administration.
A total of 3,049 freshmen are enrolled this semester, up slightly from last year’s class of
3,033 freshmen. A total of 15.2 percent of the new students are from traditionally underrepresented groups. Overall, diverse student enrollment, for which ethnicity or race is known, is 2,471 or 13.8 percent of the total enrollment.
The university’s total undergraduate enrollment has increased slightly to 16,289, up 34 students from last year. The total includes undergraduates enrolled in the university’s distance education undergraduate programs. Total new transfer enrollment in both main campus and distance education programs is 1,440 students.
The total main campus enrollment for undergraduate and graduate students is 16,766, an increase of 130 students from last year. That includes 15,739 undergraduates, up 105 students from last year, and 1,027 graduate students, an increase of 25 students from last year.
Graduate enrollment totals 1,642 students, a decrease of 129 students from last fall. Out-of-state enrollment has decreased slightly from last year. A total of 1,653 out-of-state students are enrolled fall semester, down from 1,710 last year.
There has been a decline in the university’s distance education programs with 1,237 total students enrolled compared to 1,510 last fall. Of those totals, the largest decline is in enrollment in graduate programs, with 645 students this fall compared to 803 last fall.
This is largely attributed to a lack of demand for site-based graduate programs in education. The migration of some distance education programs from a site-specific, face-to-face format to a new on-line format will allow for a greater market across North Carolina in the future, according to Max Poole, dean of the Cratis D. Williams School of Graduate Studies.
The university’s freshman-to-sophomore retention rate for the fall 2014 freshman class is 85.8 percent. The four-year graduation rate for the fall 2011 freshman cohort is 50.7 percent, while the five-year graduation rate for the fall 2010 cohort was 68.5 percent. The six-year graduation rate for the fall 2009 freshman class was 70.9 percent, exceeding the university’s strategic plan goal of 68 percent for that cohort.