Samford University's fall 2013 enrollment has reached an all-time high of 4,833, university officials announced Sept. 13. The total exceeds last year's record of 4,758. This is the fifth consecutive year of record fall enrollments.
Included is a record freshman class of 755, exceeding the previous record of 743 set in 1997. A record 2,197 students are living in university-owned residence facilities.
Samford officially records enrollment at the end of the 15th class day, according to R. Phil Kimrey, Samford's vice president for student affairs and enrollment management. Included in the totals are 3,013 undergraduates and 1,820 graduate and professional students. The students represent 44 states, including Alabama and the District of Columbia, and 21 other countries.
Kimrey said the graduate/professional totals especially were encouraging. Cumberland School of Law enrolled 172 first-year students, a significant increase over the fall 2012 entering class of 120.
The profile of the entering class continues to be very strong, Kimrey said, with an average ACT score of 25.5 and an average high school grade-point-average of 3.69. The freshman-to-sophomore retention rate also remains high at 86.7 percent.
"It is encouraging that families still are seeking the type of education and environment that Samford University provides," Kimrey said. "With some of the challenges facing families in today's global economic climate, Samford continues to be a strong competitive option."
Samford President Andrew Westmoreland noted that the record totals did not happen "by accident."
"There are so many people who contributed to this exciting milestone in our 172-year history," he said. "While our various admission counselors took the lead, we had many faculty, staff, students, parents, alumni and friends who contributed in many ways to help tell the Samford story and encourage students and families to become part of the Samford experience."
The record enrollment comes during a period of significant achievement, Westmoreland noted. Earlier this week, Samford moved up to number 3 in the South among regional universities in the 2014 U.S. News & World Report annual rankings. The university continues to be nationally recognized for its academic programs and affordability by such rankings as U.S. News & World Report, Forbes and Kiplinger's Personal Finance. Since June, the university has received more than $1.6 million in grants to support academic research and programs in nursing, pharmacy, visual art, music, biology and divinity. At the end of August, the university had reached 87 percent of the $200 million goal for the multiyear "Campaign for Samford."
Westmoreland said that the new College of Health Sciences being launched this fall and plans for a new state-of-the-art building for Brock School of Business provide optimism for future growth.
Additional enrollment statistics and demographics will be released in a few days, Kimrey added.