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Sept. 15, 2003

ULM Fall 2003 Enrollment Up

(Monroe)--The University of Louisiana at Monroe has cause to celebrate ­ the University's enrollment is up for the first time since 1995. ULM President James Cofer announced an enrollment of 8,558 for the Fall 2003 semester to the entire campus at an afternoon gathering called "Recruitment Success 2003." This news continues the trend of success and accomplishments in the Cofer administration that is marked by increased campus morale and community support.

At the outdoor event, Cofer expressed sincere thanks to those who lead by putting students first. "In the year and a half that Deborah and I have been here, I have seen the hard work, dedication and love for this institution expressed by faculty, staff, alumni and students. The increase in enrollment is a direct result of your passion and commitment. I hope you will continue to strive for greatness at ULM. This is only the beginning."

ULM now has 8,558 students enrolled for the Fall 2003; this is up 407 students for a 4.99 percent increase from last Fall. The number of freshman is 2,875, a 11.95 percent increase from last year. First time freshman numbers are up at 1,379 students, which is a 24.23 percent increase.

ULM Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Stephen Richters, says, "The significant increase in the freshman class for this fall is a result of the continued efforts of our recruiters, faculty, staff and students. We are excited and proud that so many students chose ULM."

The fall 2003 headcount also shows that the average American College Test (ACT) composite scores for beginning freshman has risen to 20.3 for this semester. TOPS eligibility for full time beginning freshman (direct from high school) shows a 24.8 percent increase.

President of the University of Louisiana System Sally Clausen commended the increase in enrollment, particularly since the increase reflected a greater percentage of students with stronger academic backgrounds.

"What is significant is that Dr. Cofer and his staff worked hard to attract students with the academic credentials to contribute to ULM and to excel there. This should bode well for ULM as it moves to stricter academic standards in 2005," Clausen said.

Lisa Miller, ULM Director of Recruitment & Admissions said, "Today's success is the result of the administration's leadership, and the tireless efforts of the ULM faculty, staff, current students, and community. I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank the staff in the office of Recruitment & Admissions for their dedication and willingness to go the extra mile. I also want to express gratitude to the "road warriors" who traveled across the state with us and to those on campus who have provided a welcoming atmosphere for our prospective students- sometimes at a moment's notice. Seeing our new students motivates us all as begin our 2003-2004 recruiting season. Thank you."

The ULM Faculty Senate President John Rettenmayer said, "The faculty of ULM are highly pleased that enrollment is up this fall semester. The recruiting staff, the administration, and the faculty have worked very hard the past few months to tell ULM's story to prospective students, and it is gratifying that so many have seen the advantages of attending ULM. The faculty look forward to helping both new and returning students attain their educational goals."

With an increase in student enrollment, Cofer says the extra funds will be used for salary increases for faculty and staff. Though the University's financial picture looks brighter since enrollment is up, Cofer warns that ULM cannot rest now. "This is the tip of the iceberg; we have work left to do, including increased recruiting and retention efforts by the entire university and community."

Cofer ended his brief remarks today by saying that he is looking forward to this new academic year. "We began the year with a host of successes under our belt: final clearance by SACS, an improved financial picture, the largest one-year increase in student satisfaction of any institution in Louisiana, and a new spirit. I am confident we can do even better this year as we continue to work together."

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