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Volume 70, Issue 23, Thursday, September 23, 2004


Seniors dominate enrollment stats

By Jim Parsons
The Daily Cougar

Enrollment for this semester has increased slightly from Fall 2003, but preliminary reports show declining numbers of freshmen, sophomores and graduate students.

Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Ed Apodaca said UH's estimated fall enrollment is 35,189, or 223 students more than were enrolled last fall.

That makes this semester's enrollment the highest in UH history, although it's only an increase of about 0.6 percent over last year.

"We feel good at this point because most other large four-year institutions are reporting a decline," Apodaca said.

The group of students with the largest enrollment change in the past year, both in terms of numbers and percentage, is postbaccalaureates. Preliminary figures show 1,396 postbac students enrolled this fall, 217 fewer than last year -- a 13.5 percent decrease.

The number of sophomores also dropped this semester. There are 5,468 enrolled, 3.3 percent fewer than in 2003. The decrease in the freshman class is smaller -- about 1 percent, to 5,977.

The decrease in the freshman class does not reflect the number of applications the University received for the fall, however.

"There were 11,010 applications for freshmen this year," said Jeff Fuller of the Office of Admissions. "That's approximately 1,000 more than last year."

Only 3,400 freshmen were admitted -- in accordance with a cap that has been in place for several years now -- as part of an effort to manage enrollment at UH.

"We are still waiting on final enrollment numbers, but we didn't come close to the cap," Fuller said.

The senior class is the University's largest at 8,424 students, nearly 24 percent of total enrollment.

Apodaca said official numbers for the semester have not yet been released because the University is still dealing with issues like payment that could affect the final report.

-- With additional reporting by Matt Dougherty

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