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UA Little Rock Halts Thirteen-Year Enrollment Decline 

UA Little Rock students gather in front of the Donaghey Student Center. Photo by Ben Krain.
UA Little Rock students gather in front of the Donaghey Student Center. Photo by Ben Krain.

UA Little Rock’s preliminary fall 2023 enrollment figures indicate an increase in undergraduate and graduate student full-time equivalents (FTE) of 1.2%, an increase in student semester credit hours (SSCH) of 1.0%, and a headcount decline of 1.0% over the fall 2022 semester. Preliminary enrollment indicates 7,147 undergraduate and graduate students. These figures do not include high school concurrent students, which are reported separately. Prior to the fall 2023 term, the last fall term to experience an increase in student FTE was fall 2010.

“The extraordinary commitment of our students, faculty, and staff at UA Little Rock made this possible,” said Chancellor Christina S. Drale. “We knew reversing a decade-plus enrollment trend would take time, focus, and significant work, and I’m pleased to see our collective efforts translate into student success and improvement in the university’s enrollment.”

Preliminary undergraduate and graduate FTE for fall 2023 totals 4750.5, an increase of 55.2, or 1.2% over fall 2022. Preliminary undergraduate and graduate SSCH for fall 2023 totals 68,327, an increase of 662 or 1.0% over fall 2022. Preliminary undergraduate and graduate headcount (excluding law) totaled 6,739, a decline of 65 or 1.0% over the prior year. The university had an increase in full-time students during the fall term, but saw a decrease in part-time students, resulting in an increase in student FTE and a decrease in headcount.

Last fall was a turning point in reversing a decade-plus of enrollment decline when UA Little Rock saw a 29% increase in freshmen and an 8% increase in transfer students. Building on this momentum, preliminary totals suggest the university expects to match the record-breaking freshmen headcount from fall 2022, with a small 4% decrease in transfer students.

“UA Little Rock prioritized affordability and student success, and it’s evident in the data,” said Cody Decker, vice chancellor for student affairs and chief data officer. “Students and their families continue to see more transformational educational opportunities, competitive scholarships, and new student experiences available from UA Little Rock.”

In recent years, UA Little Rock has significantly invested in upgrading academic spaces, building stronger industry connections, and growing internship opportunities. That work is paying dividends, as students recognize the breadth of opportunities available because of the university’s location in the Capital City. UA Little Rock’s largest area of growth is in the George W. Donaghey College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, which experienced an enrollment growth of 6% for undergraduate students and 14% for graduate students.

Campus housing also saw an increase this fall, with preliminary data indicating 932 students elected to live on-campus, a 1.4% increase from the previous year. UA Little Rock offers a variety of housing and dining options for both undergraduate and graduate students. Undergraduate students who live on campus during their collegiate journey have been shown to perform better academically and are more likely to persist to graduation.