With record fall enrollment, APSU now state’s fastest-growing public university
(Posted Nov. 15, 2018)
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – It’s official – Austin Peay State University is the fastest-growing public university in the state. At a time when most colleges and universities are struggling to attract students, Austin Peay’s 4.7 percent increase far outpaced other schools and helped the University set a record enrollment this fall with 10,954 students.
“That number is significant because, as the university of choice for many first-generation, nontraditional and military students, it means we’re empowering more individuals to achieve the dream of a college education, transforming lives for the better for generations to come,” Dr. Alisa White, APSU president, said.
The Tennessee Board of Regents released Austin Peay’s official fall enrollment numbers on Tuesday, Nov. 14.
“This is a big deal. We set a new record everywhere – in graduate enrollment, new freshmen, international student enrollment,” Dr. Beverly Boggs, associate provost for enrollment management, said. “We enrolled more than 2,000 new freshmen, which we’ve been trying to do for years.”
This fall, Austin Peay experienced a 3 percent increase in undergraduate students, a 24 percent increase in graduate students, a 23 percent increase in out-of-state students and a 29 percent increase in undergraduate international students.
The University also awarded a record number of academic scholarships this fall, which means the new freshman class has an ACT average that is higher than previous years.
“Austin Peay has a great story to tell, and we’ve been telling it with enough frequency that it has now resonated across the state,” Dr. Chad Brooks, associate provost for research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies, said. “Hundreds of people, I dare say thousands, have heard the Austin Peay story and now they want to be part of that type of student success journey.”
The College of Graduate Studies enrolled a record 1,085 students this fall, but the program also experienced an astounding 226 percent increase in international graduate student enrollment. In addition to developing several new graduate programs and professional certificates, the college offered more graduate teaching assistantships (GTA), going from 86 positions to more than 230 GTA positions. These assistantships provide students with a stipend and a tuition wavier, along with a more dynamic learning experience as undergraduate instructors.
“The faculty and staff commitment, both graduate and undergraduate, is amazing,” Brooks said. “The public’s interest in Austin Peay has been on the rise because of the many successes of Austin Peay faculty and staff in research, scholarly and creative activities and their commitment to including students in everything that they do. A true dedication to students is at the very core of what it means to work at Austin Peay”
Every day, busloads of high school students arrive at Austin Peay to take campus tours. The number of prospective students has increased so much that the University recently reclassified a position to handle the tours.
“The tours are going through the roof,” Boggs said. “They’re going crazy. We have tours around the clock.”
And once students visit campus, they often decide Austin Peay is the place for them. Last fall, Houston County native Lynzie Averitt considered enrolling at other area universities, but then she decided to visit Austin Peay.
“That made the decision for me,” Averitt said. “I came to AP Day, and that’s the day I decided to come to Austin Peay. I just loved the atmosphere and all the stuff the University offered.”