FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 11, 2018

 

UNC System announces record increases in freshman class, transfer students, and graduate students

Nearly 237,000 students enrolled statewide for Fall 2018 Semester

 

CHAPEL HILL, NC – More students are enrolled in the University of North Carolina System than ever before, thanks in part to a record-high freshman class, significant growth in transfer students, and the highest number of graduate students in more than a decade. 

“By leveraging opportunities like NC Promise and dual-enrollment agreements with community colleges, our institutions are expanding access to higher education in all 100 counties,” said UNC System President Margaret Spellings. “Our state is investing in its public universities and it’s paying off for more students in more places than ever before.”

Final census numbers indicate that 236,992 students are enrolled in the UNC System for the Fall 2018 semester. A total of 35,629 first-time freshman undergraduates are currently enrolled – an increase of 1,107 (3.2 percent) over last year’s previous record number. In addition, the total number of undergraduate transfer students increased by 934 (5.5 percent) compared to last year.

The growth comes as the UNC System is in year two of a strategic plan, Higher Expectations, that prioritizes student access and builds a strong accountability system that encourages institutions to meet their bold goals.

One key factor in the increased enrollment has been a growth in transfer students driven by a new statewide articulation agreement between the NC Community College System and the UNC System and a host of new bilateral partnerships between specific community colleges and UNC System institutions.

“Transferring to a four-year institution after completing an associate’s degree not only provides a more affordable route to a college degree,” said President Spellings. “It is also proven to increase the odds of graduating for students, particularly first-generation and low-income students.”

 

Enrollment by Institution

 

 

2017

2018

% change 2018 over 2017

 

Undergrad

Graduate

Total

Undergrad

Graduate

Total

Undergrad

Graduate

Total

ASU

17,017

1,794

18,811

17,381

1,727

19,108

2.1%

-3.7%

1.6%

ECU

23,265

5,866

29,131

23,071

5,647

28,718

-0.8%

-3.7%

-1.4%

ECSU

1,368

43

1,411

1,636

41

1,677

19.6%

-4.7%

18.9%

FSU

5,393

833

6,226

5,473

845

6,318

1.5%

1.4%

1.5%

N.C. A&T

10,340

1,536

11,876

10,629

1,512

12,141

2.8%

-1.6%

2.2%

NCCU

6,355

1,742

8,097

6,434

1,773

8,207

1.2%

1.8%

1.4%

NC State

24,150

10,282

34,432

25,199

10,280

35,479

4.3%

0.0%

3.0%

UNCA

3,826

26

3,852

3,743

19

3,762

-2.2%

-26.9%

-2.3%

UNC-CH

18,862

11,049

29,911

19,117

10,894

30,011

1.4%

-1.4%

0.3%

UNCC

23,914

5,403

29,317

24,387

5,323

29,710

2.0%

-1.5%

1.3%

UNCG

16,439

3,483

19,922

16,641

3,465

20,106

1.2%

-0.5%

0.9%

UNCP

5,481

771

6,252

6,069

1,068

7,137

10.7%

38.5%

14.2%

UNCW

14,502

1,985

16,487

14,452

2,295

16,747

-0.3%

15.6%

1.6%

UNCSA

868

141

1,009

890

152

1,042

2.5%

7.8%

3.3%

WCU

9,406

1,628

11,034

10,027

1,612

11,639

6.6%

-1.0%

5.5%

WSSU

4,688

410

5,098

4,741

449

5,190

1.1%

9.5%

1.8%

UNC Sys

185,874

46,992

232,866

189,890

47,102

236,992

2.2%

0.2%

1.8%

 

The NC Promise Tuition Plan, has also driven enrollment significantly, with increases in first-year students and nearly fifty percent increases in transfer students at the Plan’s three institutions: Elizabeth City State University, UNC Pembroke, and Western Carolina University. 

NC Promise, approved by state lawmakers in 2016 and launched in Fall 2018, reduces in-state tuition cost to $500 per semester and out-of-state tuition to $2,500 per semester. All students, including those enrolled before Fall 2018, are eligible for NC Promise and are automatically enrolled in the program regardless of financial means.

Just as first-year enrollment increased, so did first-year student quality. The first-year class across the UNC System boasts one of the highest average SAT, ACT and GPA scores since that data has been tracked with all three metrics up over previous years.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

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