JONESBORO – Arkansas State University’s total headcount on the 11th day for the spring 2018 semester is 13,790, Chancellor Kelly Damphousse announced today.
The total student headcount, including students from A-State’s Campus Queretaro, was slightly higher than last spring. However, the number of students associated with on-campus enrollment in Jonesboro and the full-time equivalency headcount were down.
The Jonesboro-only headcount declined 119 students for -0.9 percent from spring 2017, and the FTE reported to the state of Arkansas was off -1.7 percent. This is the first spring semester for students at Arkansas State’s Mexico campus. Students at A-State CQ are not a part of the official domestic enrollment FTE.
“Our continued growth and strength in online enrollment combined with our students at Campus Queretaro place us slightly ahead of last spring’s 11th-day enrollment,” Damphousse said. “The work of our faculty and staff to improve our fall-to-spring retention to 91.5 percent is a step in the right direction toward our goals of increasing our enrollment, but more important, providing service to our students and community. We cannot retain freshmen to their sophomore year – and ultimately through graduation – if we don’t retain them from their first fall to their first spring.”
Arkansas State had a dramatic drop in fall-to-spring retention last year, and reversing that trend to a near-record 91.5 percent fall-to-spring retention for spring 2018 was a highlight of the enrollment figures.
“I want to express my thanks and appreciation for the work of our faculty and staff in achieving this incredible achievement in fall-to-spring retention,” Damphousse said. “Last spring, we only retained 86.9 percent of the fall 2016 freshmen. This year’s 91.5 percent was just a few students short of the all-time mark of 92 percent from 2015. This is another example of how Every Red Wolf Counts. Our retention work is not done for this academic year. Last year, we lost an additional 14 percent of our freshman class over the summer, so we still have a lot of work to do.“
The headcount number of students on-campus in Jonesboro is down 573 from last spring for a 6.1 percent decline. At the same time, the number of online students rose 414, mostly among graduate students, for an increase of 11 percent over 2017.
“We are headed in the right direction, but we have to recognize that with fewer on-campus students to work with, we have a significant decrease in total Jonesboro headcount,” the chancellor said. “That we are down in on-campus undergraduate students is not a surprise. Since August, we have been saying that poor retention from the 2016 freshman cohort, one of the smallest recent freshman classes in 2017, and the record number of graduates during the past calendar year had this potential.”
In recognizing the budget implications within the spring enrollment, Damphousse reminded the campus community that progress is being made.
“Our mantra has been that recruiting and retention is the path forward for Arkansas State,” he said. “Our recruiting team is well-motivated and it is evolving our recruiting practices every day. Our new Welcome Center will greatly impact our campus tour experience – which is already great in that one out of every two campus visitors becomes a Red Wolf. Our Chancellor’s Commission on Completion, led by Dr. Jill Simons, has done Herculean work to retain our students. I am very excited about our future.”
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