Records have been set at Southern Arkansas University during the spring 2012 semester. Not only are more students enrolled in spring semester classes than ever before, but there are also a record number of students living on campus.
A total of 3,091 students are enrolled at SAU for the spring semester. Of those students, 2,625 are undergraduates, and 466 are graduate students. The enrollment numbers show the continuation of a trend for growth in the School of Graduate Studies. The 466 graduate students represent a 6.39 percent increase over spring 2011 graduate enrollment. Since 2008, spring semester graduate enrollment has increased 38.69 percent.
Dr. Kim Bloss, dean of the School of Graduate Studies, said she attributes the substantial growth to three key points: Listening to student feedback and improving programs based on that feedback, offering courses in ways that are convenient for working professionals, and being extremely student friendly which results in great word of mouth advertising.
The record enrollment has resulted in a record number of students living in on-campus housing during a spring semester. A total of 1,253 students are living on campus with 1,009 living in residence halls and 244 in the University Village apartment complex. The number of students living on campus has increased 6 percent over spring 2011.
“It is exciting to have so many students choosing to live on campus,” said SAU President Dr. David Rankin. “Having them here not only enhances their own college experience, but it also adds to the energy of the campus overall.”
Housing numbers at SAU have been on the rise for several years. The number of students living on campus during the spring semester has risen 25.8 percent since spring 2008. During that same time, the University’s overall spring enrollment has increased only 7.78 percent.
J Courson, associate dean for housing, said it is difficult to nail down the exact reason for the tremendous increase in housing, but the construction of two new residence halls during the last decade and the weakened economy may have had a great impact.
“It really is less expensive to live on campus,” he said.