BGSU enrollment reaches record heights

 BGSU has reached a record high enrollment this fall, attaining institutional goals of increasing the number of students of color, out-of-state students and students with ACT scores of 30 or higher in the freshman class.

Contributing to the highest-ever total enrollment of 21,071—up by 96 students from a year ago—has been the return of 79.1 percent of last fall’s record-setting class of first-year students. The retention rate has climbed from 77.9 percent last year and 74 percent in 2003.

“We believe that our first-year programs, new scholarships, improved advising and outreach are large factors in this increase,” said Dr. Alberto Gonzalez, vice provost for academic services.

This fall, 18,392 students are studying on Bowling Green’s main campus and abroad, up by 23 students from 2004, and 2,055 students are enrolled at BGSU Firelands, a 69-student increase. Those numbers are the largest main and Firelands campus enrollments in University history. The remaining 624 students are classified as extension students.

First-year students at BGSU number 4,329, the third most in University history. The class includes 3,654 freshmen and 675 transfer students. Records for first-year students, including transfers, (4,627) and freshmen (3,929) were both set last fall.

Bowling Green is a more ethnically diverse institution than ever, with 699 students of color, or 19.1 percent of this fall’s freshmen. The number of African-American students has doubled in three years, reaching a record 444, and the Hispanic student population is also at a new high of 156.

Students from outside Ohio have enrolled in record numbers as well. Among the 487 out-of-state students—representing 13.3 percent of the freshman population—are 235 students from Michigan.

BGSU has seen 40 percent increases in enrollment of Michigan students each of the last two years, fueled by a tuition program that enables such students to pay only 50 percent of the usual out-of-state surcharge if they have a high school grade point average of at least 3.0 and an ACT score of 21 or higher.

At 182, the number of new students with ACT scores of at least 30 is also a record. The highest possible score on the college entrance exam is 36.

“These increases reflect the priorities stated in our 2002 Enrollment Plan,” Gonzalez said. “We wanted more diversity, more quality and greater access for low-income students.”

He added that the Enrollment Plan has been updated for 2005. “Access is still a front-burner issue, and now we also want to focus on non-traditional student and international student enrollment.”
September 12, 2005