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A 14 percent increase in the number of students pursuing graduate degrees at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette drove a slight increase in its overall Fall 2019 enrollment.

A total of 19,403 students enrolled at UL Lafayette this semester.

Among that number are 2,330 graduate students, in comparison to 2,050 graduate students who enrolled for the Fall 2018 semester.

Dr. Mary Farmer-Kaiser, dean of the Graduate School, said the University’s “commitment to expanding both master’s and doctoral programs” is a significant reason the number of graduate students continues to climb.

As examples, she cited the launch of two new degree programs this semester – a Ph.D. in earth and energy sciences and a master’s degree in elementary education.

“We’re continuing to invest in graduate education, and students are especially taking advantage of online, hybrid and executive models,” Farmer-Kaiser explained.

Dr. DeWayne Bowie, the University’s vice president for Enrollment Management, said in addition to graduate students, academically-accomplished students continue to enroll at the University.

“The Fall 2019 class includes the largest group of first-time freshmen with an ACT composite score of 32 or higher, which represents a 20 percent increase over Fall 2018. The average ACT composite score of first-time freshmen is 23.70, and their average high school GPA is 3.39. The freshman class also includes 108 high school valedictorians,” he noted.

The Fall 2019 class includes students from 63 parishes, 48 states and over 70 countries, Bowie added.

“We continue to attract students from across the state, country and world for many reasons, including a strong academic environment that fosters success, and a culture that supports diversity and inclusion,” Bowie said.

Photo: The cumulative high school GPA of Fall 2019 freshman is 3.39, and their average ACT composite score is 23.70. The freshman class also includes 108 high school valedictorians. Credit: Doug Dugas/University of Louisiana at Lafayette

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