A record 855 first-time freshmen have enrolled for the fall semester at Henderson State University, according to official census data released this morning. This represents a 38 percent increase over last year’s first-time freshmen.
Graduate School enrollment also increased to a record 559—from 497 in 2017—bringing total undergraduate and graduate enrollment to 3,568, compared to 3,336 in 2017.
“It is exciting to announce the largest freshman and graduate classes in the history of our university,” said Henderson President Glen Jones. “I’m thankful for our many faculty and staff who have worked tirelessly to recruit these outstanding students throughout the year.
Dr. Kenneth Taylor, vice provost and dean of Graduate School, attributed the increase in graduate students to new programs.
“Anticipation of new graduate degree programs offered at Henderson have now prompted more individuals to consider our university as a leading option to earn a graduate degree that will help them advance in their profession,” Taylor said.
The university began offering an online Master’s of Science in Nursing degree with two tracks, including Family Nurse Practitioner and Nursing Administrator. A Doctor of Nursing Practice and Doctor of Education in Instructional Leadership are in the approval process.
Dr. Brandie Benton, associate provost for enrollment services and admissions, credited a collaborative effort across the campus for the large freshman class.
“Without the collaboration and support of our faculty and staff and a true team approach, our recruitment efforts would not have been nearly as effective,” Benton said. “We all wanted to ensure that the campus visit experience for prospective students was positive, informative, and fun.”
The increase in enrollment also led to more students taking advantage of campus housing. Current figures show 1,680 living on campus this year, compared to 1,454 in 2017.
“We are very pleased with the efforts of our residence life staff to keep more returning students on campus and welcoming our many new students to campus, as well,” said Dr. Nikki Laird, director of residence life. “We are also grateful for the work of many people on campus who assisted with opening additional spaces in our residence halls.”
Ninety-nine of this year’s first-time freshmen are from Saline County, with 76 coming from Pulaski County. Hot Spring County provided 74 freshmen, followed by: Clark County, 64; Garland County, 50; Union County, 35; Pike County, 25; Ouachita County, 23; Grant County 22; and Bowie County, Texas, 20.
The most popular declared freshman majors are biology, health sciences, business administration and aviation.
Undergraduates account for 3,009 of the total enrollment, with 559 graduate students. An additional 390 high school students are participating in concurrent course offerings.
Census data dating back to 1992 shows 823 first-time freshmen in 2011, and 807 in both 2007 and 2010.