Samford University has a record enrollment for the fall 2009 semester.The official enrollment of 4,658 was announced Friday (Sept. 18).
This year’s total exceeds the previous record of 4,630, set in 1995, and also surpasses the fall 2008 final total of 4,469. The 2009 figures include 2908 undergraduates and a record 1,750 graduate students.
One reason for the high total is the presence of about 850 new students, most freshmen, according to R. Phil Kimrey, Samford’s vice president for student affairs and enrollment management. With new students in graduate and professional programs, this total will exceed 1,100, he added.
“This unusually large number of first-year students affirms the strong efforts of our faculty and staff in helping with the recruiting process last spring and through the summer,” Kimrey said. “We had a record number of first-year students participating in orientation and welcome activities.”
Kimrey also noted the academic strength of this year’s freshman class, with an average ACT college entrance exam score of 26, significantly higher than the national average of 21. About one-fourth of the class ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class. Fifteen were National Merit Scholarship finalists.
Samford President Andrew Westmoreland said he was especially pleased that the university was able to reach a record enrollment, given the current global economic climate.
“Our faculty, staff, alumni and current students did an extraordinary job over the last year of cultivating and recruiting students for Samford,” Westmoreland said, “and those efforts obviously paid dividends. We stressed Samford’s strong academic reputation and affordability, things that are very important to prospective students and their parents.”
The majority of students come from the Southeast – Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and Florida – and the number of entering freshmen from Alabama was the highest in about a decade, according to Kimrey. Samford’s pharmacy and law schools have increased enrollments.
Kimrey especially noted that both undergraduate and graduate programs in nursing saw significant enrollment increases. The large increases represent trends in health care fields and aggressive recruitment efforts by the faculty and staff of Samford’s Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing, he added.
Samford continues to be Alabama’s largest private university and is ranked in the top tier of national doctoral research universities by the U.S. News & World Report collegiate rankings.