U of A Fayetteville campus tops 26K enrollment

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Preliminary enrollment figures at the University of Arkansas show that for the first time the flagship campus has a total of 26,301 students for the fall semester as of Tuesday, Sept. 2.

Chancellor G. David Gearhart made the announcement at a news conference Wednesday.

The total is a 3.8 percent increase from the fall 2013 enrollment, a rate of growth that university administrators believe is sustainable.

"This is a great time to be attending the University of Arkansas," the chancellor said. "We're excited to launch the 2014-15 academic year on the heels of several good news items."

"There is no question that we have grown quickly over the last several years," Gearhart said. "This is not by accident, but part of a long-term plan we put in place to increase the size, quality and academic reputation of the university. Improving our graduation and retention rates will be a major point of emphasis for us between now and 2021."

This fall's freshman class of 4,579 students set a new record, too, according to the preliminary numbers, with five students more than the 2012 class, which was itself the previous record-setting freshman class.

Associated Student Government president Daniel McFarland also addressed the audience with a student response to the news.