Record enrollment predicted at UA

The fall class at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville is expected to be the biggest ever.

University officials say enrollment is expected to top 20,700 students, including a record number of new freshmen. So far, 3,458 freshmen have enrolled, which already marks an increase of 500 from last fall.

“It’s exciting. These numbers are right where we want them to be,” Chancellor G. David Gearhart said in a statement. “We know that we can best serve the interests of the students and of the state by growing in the right way. We are attracting talented students from across Arkansas and the nation to our state’s flagship campus."

Exact enrollment numbers won't be known until the 11th day of the semester, when state law requires universities to officially measure their student body size.

Provost Sharon Gaber said in a news release that the university has been readying for the influx of new students since November, expanding sections for core classes, renovating dorms and increasing classroom availability. The Office of Academic Success and the Office of Financial Aid are also growing in an effort to retain the new students.

"We are bringing in students who have great potential and we will do our part to help them realize it,” Gaber said in a release.

The university also expects to attract a record number of out-of-state students as well as record enrollments at the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering, the Sam M. Walton College of Business and the Honors College.