Last Modified: Monday, September 10, 2012 5:53 PM
McNeese State University saw a two percent decrease in its overall fall semester enrollment, but it is seeing a record number of first-time freshmen in the university’s early enrollment program, officials said.
Fall enrollment is 8,588, a slight drop from last fall’s enrollment of 8,791 students, said Candace Townshend, McNeese’s public information and communications director. She said the decrease is due “in part to an increase in admission standards for transfer students.”
“Effective this fall, students wishing to transfer to McNeese must meet higher standards as set by the Board of Regents. Transfer students must have completed a minimum of 18 hours of college-level courses including a college level English and math course. The previous requirement was a completion of 12 or more hours,” she said.
“We are down nearly 20 percent in transfer students compared to last fall and we attribute that directly to the increased admission requirements,” Tarver said.
Townsend said admissions standards for first-time freshmen have also increased.
“Graduates of state-approved public and private Louisiana high schools must have completed the Board of Regents Core 4 Curriculum of 19 units, in addition to the increase in high school grade point average and ACT scores that went into effect last year,” she said.
The change in freshmen admission standards is a good thing, said Kara Smith, McNeese’s director of admissions and recruiting.
“It brings a freshman class of students to campus that are prepared for college level work and that leads to increased retention and graduation rates,” she said.“We are seeing increased interest in McNeese since admissions standards were implemented. Our applications for admission were up this year, as were the number of campus visits by prospective students and their parents.”
Townsend said the Department of Engineering and Engineering Technology saw the largest overall growth in undergraduate students and the College of Nursing continues to have the highest number of undergraduate students.
As for the record enrollment in early admissions students, Stephanie Tarver, associate vice president for enrollment management, said this fall, 727 area high school students are enrolled in college-level courses at the university — an increase of more than 10 percent, or 68 students, compared to last fall.
Those courses will count toward their college credit hours, she said.
The early admissions program at McNeese has steadily increased over the past 12 years, Tarver said.
“Many of these students earn 12-15 hours of college credit before they graduate from high school,” she said.
McNeese offers dual enrollment classes at high schools in Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jefferson Davis parishes.
McNeese’s fall enrollment numbers over a five-year period:
• 2012 -- 8,588.
• 2011 -- 8,791.
• 2010 -- 8,941.
• 2009 -- 8,645.
• 2008 -- 8,294.
• 2007 -- 8,095.