Diversity Increases in Bowen’s New Class

Enrollment data for the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law have shown that the institution is growing more diverse in spite of a smaller applicant pool.

The number of minority students admitted and currently enrolled at Bowen has increased to 20 percent from last year’s 15 percent. The class also has about 25 percent out-of-state students.

Shifts in Bowen’s admissions may be the result of an applicant pool whose size and scope has been affected by the fluctuating economic climate. About 860 students applied for the 2012 entering class at Bowen; that number was 1529 in 2011.

“On the whole, law schools have all had lower numbers of applicants for their available class seats,” said Interim Dean Paula Casey. “We just started seeing more of an impact later than other schools in the country.”

Of Bowen’s 150 new first-year students, 84 are full-time, and 66 are part-time students. These numbers deviate slightly from the average of 90-95 full-time and 60-65 part-time.

“We admitted a quality class this year, despite the smaller pool of applicants,” said Valerie D. James, assistant dean for admissions and scholarships.

While much of the school’s admissions data has slightly shifted, LSAT scores stay fairly level above 150, with a 153 median score for full-time students and 151 for part-time students.

“I think we’ll have to wait to see if these are trends,” said James. “Our median UGPA has gone up a little bit each year, so this year has been an atypical year. I think it is the economy and the effect it is having on the students applying.”

 Similar to the age range of students during the 2011-2012 academic semester, which was 21 to 54, this year’s range is 20 to 54.
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