Samford University's fall 2012 enrollment ties the previous record set in fall 2011 of 4,758. The total reflects a fourth consecutive year of record fall enrollments. Including spring semesters, this is the seventh straight semester of record enrollment.
Samford officially records enrollment at the end of the 15th class day, and totals were announced Sept. 17, according to R. Phil Kimrey, Samford's vice president for student affairs and enrollment management. Included in the totals are 2,965 undergraduates and 1,793 graduate and professional students.
One key factor this year was an increased retention rate of 86.5 percent of freshman to sophomore year. "We know that if we can keep students engaged with Samford after the first year, we have a strong success rate through to graduation," Kimrey said.
The total includes 708 first-year students, Kimrey said, an increase of 22 over the fall 2011 total. Also, a record 2,079 students living on campus, an increase of 78 over the fall 2011 record.
The profile of the entering class continues to be very strong, Kimrey said, with an average ACT score of 26 an average high school grade-point-average of 3.7.
"In a challenging environment within higher education, it is gratifying to know that students and families continue to seek out the educational experience provided by the faculty and staff at Samford," said Samford President Andrew Westmoreland. "With the growth of our undergraduate enrollment, we will be opening new residence halls over the next year to house an additional 300 students on campus."
Westmoreland noted that the enrollment announcement comes just days after Samford was ranked fourth among regional universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report annual college rankings, continuing a decades-long record for Samford to rank in the top tier of its peer group. Several Samford programs, including business, law and nursing, achieved high national rankings in recent months, and the university has been highly ranked in the last year by Kiplinger's, Colleges of Distinction and The Princeton Review.
Additional enrollment statistics and demographics will be released in a few days, Kimrey added.