The University of North Florida is experiencing a significant surge in students enrolled in Spring Semester classes reflecting an increasing demand for higher education programs in the region.
According to UNF Enrollment Services Director Deborah Kaye, 12,625 students enrolled for classes during the Spring Semester, which started on Tuesday. That represents an increase of 6.4 percent compared to a year ago. That is nearly double the increase experienced in the Spring Semesters of 2001 and 2000.
With this increase in spring enrollments, UNF continued its trend to enroll greater numbers of first time in college (FTIC) students. Overall during the 2001-2002 academic year, 1,900 FTIC students attended the University.
UNF President Dr. Anne Hopkins said the University is delighted that it is able to accommodate so many additional students. "Access to higher education is a key factor in equalizing the opportunities for all, both economically and socially," she said.
Kaye attributed the increase to several factors. "We have enhanced our recruitment efforts and continue to pay attention to the needs of our prospective and current students. We also are offering a robust schedule of courses," she said.
The increase is also consistent with increases being recorded at state universities around Florida. "The downturn in the economy may have impacted us as some students are returning to school to retool for new careers and some are continuing in school who, in previous years, may have left to go directly to work," she noted. Finally, Kaye noted that some students and their parents may be motivated to stay closer to home in the wake of the Sept. 11 incident for safety and economic reasons.
The surge in Spring Semester enrollment also is expected to continue through the Fall Semester. To date, nearly 3,300 applications have been received by the UNF Admissions Office, an increase of 19 percent from this year a year ago. When looking at only the Northeast Florida region, admission applications are up by more than 30 percent.
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