LAFAYETTE — First-time freshman enrollment at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette dropped by about 8 percent in its first semester with tougher admission standards that eliminate developmental or remedial courses, according to a university news release.
Last fall’s first-time freshman enrollment was 2,966 compared with this fall’s enrollment of 2,728 students, according to the university.
This fall, the university, along with LSU, University of New Orleans and Louisiana Tech University, increased admission standards to exclude students who may need remedial or developmental courses in math and English.
The tougher standards have produced a better-prepared freshman class with 87 valedictorians and an average high school grade-point average of 3.3, up from last year’s average of 3.2, university officials reported.
“We projected that as our academic standards increased, we would see a decline in the number of eligible students,” said DeWayne Bowie, vice president for Enrollment Management. “The decline was less than projected.
“While our freshmen class is a little smaller than last year, this class represents the most academically talented class that we have ever enrolled.”
Incoming students’ average ACT composite scores also increased from 22.25 last year to 22.99 this year. At least 3 percent of the incoming class scored 30 or higher on the ACT, which is a 35 percent increase compared with last year, the university reported.
Freshman enrollment in the university’s honors program also grew by 15 percent this fall, the release stated.
Overall, fall enrollment dropped by 198 students from 16,687 to 16,885.
The university reported that the decline in its freshman class was offset by enrollment in new degree programs, high school students dually enrolled at the university and improved retention of its students.