UAFS Announces 6.8 Percent Spike in First-Year Entering Students
The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith announced today a 6.8 percent spike in first-year entering students, bringing the total to 889 this year, up from 832 in the 2022-23 academic year. Transfer student enrollment also showed a positive trend with a 1.6 percent increase!
Overall enrollment at UAFS has also risen by 2.5 percent, up to 5514 from last year’s 5,379, a noteworthy achievement considering the “enrollment cliff” that threatens higher education institutions across the country.
“The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith has seen remarkable growth and engagement of new students this fall, almost completely rebounding to pre-COVID enrollment of first-year students,” said Chancellor Terisa Riley. “I can feel the enthusiasm of the students when they’re attending Cub Camp, moving into their residence halls, and attending events on campus. People are genuinely excited to be here this fall!”
Riley also noted significant increases in campus housing occupancy, up to more than 765 on-campus residents.
Blake Bedsole, director of admissions at UAFS, said, “I am extremely proud of our admissions team and their hard work this past year. Our staff have worked tirelessly to remove barriers to the application and enrollment processes and on refining our messaging to prospective students and their families concerning the value of a UAFS education and the individualized support that they will receive here.”
Bedsole also credits his team with implementing comprehensive recruiting strategies and forging a team of dedicated recruiters who ensure that students and their families feel confident that UAFS is a good fit from the first stages of their application journey.
Several academic programs at UAFS also experienced significant growth, including business administration, nursing, and computer science, programs that closely align with industry needs in the River Valley and throughout the state.
Photo by Johnathan Brewer, UAFS: Enrollment growth was echoed at Cub Camp, with close to 450 students – more than half the incoming class- registering to attend the three day orientation experience.