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OSU System sets enrollment record; Welcomes stellar freshman class

Friday, September 16, 2005

Oklahoma State University has set an all-time high for student enrollment on its five-campus system, with 32,721 students enrolled for the fall semester, it was announced at Friday’s OSU/A&M Board of Regents meeting.

This year’s total includes 22 students from seven Gulf Coast schools who enrolled after Hurricane Katrina. Tuition and fees for the fall have been waived for those students.

The 32,721 students enrolled across the OSU System — OSU-Stillwater, OSU-Okmulgee, OSU-Oklahoma City, OSU-Tulsa and the OSU Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa, which includes the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine — surpass last fall’s previous high of 32,672.

OSU’s Stillwater campus class of 2009, all 3,315 of them, has already shattered several academic records, said OSU System CEO and President David J. Schmidly.

“Academically, this is one of the most exciting entering classes in years,” he said. “Our freshmen are well prepared and have earned numerous prestigious scholarships. We look forward to them accomplishing great things.”

Total enrollment on the Stillwater campus has reached approximately 20,834 students, a slight drop from 20,997 a year ago due to fewer graduate students. OSU’s undergraduate enrollment is up by a few students to 18,909 students, while total graduate enrollment has dropped 6%. The drop is due primarily to the high number of students who graduated last year, including international students.

At its main Stillwater campus, OSU’s freshman class arrived with impressive credentials, with more than half earning some form of merit-based scholarship.

“We continue to lead the state in number of valedictorians enrolling at OSU,” Schmidly said. “We’ve doubled our number of National Merit Scholars and our freshmen have qualified for many other academic scholarships.”

In all, 1,730, or 52%, of the freshman class earned a merit-based scholarship. Of those, 468 had grade point averages of 4.0 or higher. Over one-fourth of OSU’s entering freshmen were ranked in the top 10% of their high school class.

This freshman class was admitted under the first year of a three-year increase in admission standards at OSU. This year, the ACT score for admission was raised from 22 to 23.

“The average OSU freshman composite ACT score for this class is 24.6, which is the highest on record,” Schmidly said. “The average ACT is nearly a full point higher than 10 years ago and is another indication of the caliber of this year’s class.”

In-state students comprise 77% of this year’s freshman class, while 22% are out-of-state and 1% are international.

Here are highlights from this year’s freshman class:

  • An all-time high of 369 new freshmen actively participating in OSU’s Honors College. Admission is based on ACT composite scores of 27 or higher with a high school GPA of 3.75 or higher, and active status requires a minimum of six honors credit hours in the fall semester.
  • 151 Regents Distinguished Four-Year Scholarship recipients
  • 260 Regents Distinguished Freshman Scholarship recipients
  • 56 automatic qualifiers as Academic Scholars by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education who receive an annual award of $5,500 in cash per academic year plus a full waiver of resident tuition
  • 80 State Regents institutional nominees for a yearly prize of $2,800 in cash plus an OSU tuition waiver
  • 380 non-resident freshmen qualified for scholarships based on academic achievement

Systemwide, enrollment of domestic minority students was up 3%, with Hispanic students leading the way with a jump of 15%.

There are 1,829 total international students enrolled across the OSU System, down 265 students primarily because students graduated from the larger entering classes of pre-Sept. 11, 2001.

International students represent 116 countries, with the highest number of students coming from India, Japan, the People’s Republic of China, South Korea and Malaysia.

“It appears international enrollment is recovering somewhat after a drop in recent years,” Schmidly said. “New international student enrollment is up by 7.7%.”

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