UAB reports third consecutive year of more than 22,000 students in 2021 census

UAB’s 2021 census data reflects the largest and most diverse first-time freshman cohort in school history.

enrollment combined.1The University of Alabama at Birmingham has set an enrollment record for the largest first-time freshman cohort in UAB history, while also continuing to grow its student body to more than 22,000 students for the third consecutive year.

UAB’s Office of Enrollment Management reports that the 2021 census of 2,415 freshmen is UAB’s largest first-time student class, a 12 percent increase from fall 2020. Of those first-time freshmen, 82 percent are Alabama residents while 401 students are out-of-state students, 11 percent more than last year. 

“We’re proud that UAB has maintained total enrollment over 22,000 for three consecutive years, which reflects our continued focus to grow enrollment with academically talented and diverse students,” said Bradley Barnes, Ph.D., vice provost for Enrollment Management. “Not only did we welcome the largest first-time freshman cohort in UAB history to campus this fall, but they also happened to be the most academically qualified, diverse and talented cohort, with students representing all corners of our state and record out-of-state markets, too.”

2021 first-time freshmen reflect one of UAB’s highest academic quality classes, with the average ACT score at 26.5 — up from last year’s average of 25.9 — and a 3.82 average high school GPA.  

Furthermore, the incoming fall 2021 freshman class represents the most diverse group in UAB history: 45.4 percent of the freshman student body and 42 percent of UAB’s overall student body represents minority populations. Breakdowns of first-time freshmen include:

  • 26.4 percent are Black students
  • 7.9 percent are students who identify as Hispanic/Latino
  • 11.1 percent are students who identify as Asian 

“UAB is excited to welcome this diverse and talented freshman class that is the largest in our history,” said UAB President Ray L. Watts. “Such a record number of young people choosing UAB is a testament to our outstanding student experience that includes one-of-a-kind academic programs taught by renowned faculty, world-class opportunities for mentored research and service, and one of the most vibrant, state-of-the-art and sustainable campuses in the nation.”

combine enrollment.2Additional records and data reflected in UAB’s fall 2021 census include:

  • a six-year graduation rate of 62.44 percent, up 1.34 percent from last year
  • 79.8 percent of first-time freshmen living in campus housing, the highest recorded percentage
  • a 4.5 percent increase in Honors College enrollment
  • 65.4 percent of first-time freshman students identify as female 

“UAB’s Enrollment Management and Retention office has done an excellent job in recruiting a diverse student body and providing them with tools to help them succeed throughout their years at UAB,” said UAB Provost Pam Benoit. “There have been significant challenges posed by the pandemic, but our recruitment team along with faculty and staff across campus have excelled in matching potential students with educational opportunities at UAB. We are excited about what our new students will accomplish during their years here and beyond.”