PORTALES—Eastern New Mexico University in Portales has set another enrollment record with 5,574 students, an increase of 9.7 percent over last year’s previous record of 5,080 students.
Before that, the previous record was 4,685 students in the 2009 fall semester, which had topped the previous record of 4,342 in the fall of 1972.
Student credit hours, which higher education institutions funding is based on, increased by six percent.
ENMU’s record enrollment includes 4,406 undergraduate and 1,168 graduate students.
These numbers include a record 689 first-time freshmen compared to last year’s previous record of 615, an increase of 12 percent.
The retention rate for first-time freshmen from the fall of 2010 to the fall of 2011 is 64 percent. Last year the retention rate was 62 percent for fall 2009 to fall 2010.
“We’re very happy with enrollment, in terms of numbers and quality,” said Steven Gamble, ENMU president. “We’re especially happy that the average ACT scores of our new freshmen is 20.2, which exceeds the state average of 19.8.”
Gamble attributes the record enrollment to several factors, including the economy, and a solid reputation for quality academics at an affordable price. “With a total annual cost of only $4,100 for tuition and fees, I think students and their parents see us as a bargain,” Gamble said.
He noted that the six most popular majors are nursing, business administration, elementary education, biology and a tie between criminal justice and psychology.
Gamble added, “We also have a safe, attractive and friendly campus in which students truly get personal attention from the faculty and staff.”
Gamble said that not only is ENMU enjoying record enrollments, but “the caliber of students has never been higher.
“I believe that word has gotten out that Eastern is a great choice for those who are serious about achieving academic and social success. Eastern is committed to providing our students the opportunity to excel in both because we know that they complement each other in enabling students to enjoy a successful career and personal life.”