Enrollment reaches record high for third consecutive year

UAB’s student body is approaching 22,000 students, with growth reported in honors, out-of-state and dual-enrollment programs — all while retention numbers continue to climb.

enrollment graphicThe University of Alabama at Birmingham has achieved a record enrollment for the third consecutive year, growing its student body to 21,923 — an increase of 1,021 students from last year’s record of 20,902.

For fall 2018, UAB’s Office of Enrollment Management reports growth in the institution’s honors, out-of-state and dual-enrollment programs and the retention of more than 450 undergraduate students from the 2017-18 academic year.

“It says a lot about the attractiveness of our institution when we can continue to increase our enrollment numbers in a climate where many colleges and universities are experiencing declines,” said Bradley Barnes, vice provost for Enrollment Management. “To be able to continue to increase overall student enrollment — and see the caliber of ACT and GPA scores our incoming freshmen attain — really signifies that students and families recognize the world-class education and research programs we offer here at UAB. And the best news of all is that they want to be a part of it.”

In addition to the growth in total enrollment, undergraduate enrollment was up 702 students from 2017 — a 5.34 percent jump. Honors admission enrollment grew 8 percent to 620 total students, and honors students also posted a 30.4 ACT score average and a 4.11 high school GPA, demonstrating the quality of students attracted to UAB. Out-of-state enrollment also rose from 14.4 percent to 15.4 percent. 

UAB maintained its record freshmen enrollment at 2,299 for this academic year. It is also a group that arrives academically prepared with average ACT and GPA scores of 25.2 and 3.73, respectively — both higher than in 2017.

UAB also continues to promote its core value of diversity and build on its reputation as one of the most diverse universities in the nation. The student body is 39.7 percent minority, and minority students make up 40.5 percent of the freshman class. The student population is 21.9 percent black and 61.9 percent female. UAB has 1,049 international students enrolled this fall, who along with 442 international faculty, staff and visiting scholars on campus, represent more than 100 countries around the world.

UAB President Ray L. Watts established enrollment as a strategic priority when he became president in 2013, and he set a goal to have 20,000 students enrolled by 2018 — a goal first exceeded in 2017 and now surpassed by 1,923.

“We are telling our story better than ever before, and the students who come to our institution are fueling the growing energy and excitement on campus. They are writing the next chapter of our bright future,” Watts said. “Many people at UAB work every day with a strategic focus on high standards of excellence in education, research, community service, health care and economic development. The consistent enrollment growth in recent years is a result of, and a testament to, the dedication of all UAB students, faculty and staff, as well as our many supporters in Birmingham and beyond.”

UAB Senior Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit said the continued growth across the UAB enterprise is a positive reflection on many groups, including recent students and current faculty.

“Our students and graduates are proud of the world-class, interdisciplinary programs they can be a part of here,” Benoit said. “Our faculty delivers a socially conscious education to diverse students to prepare them to be the next generation of citizens and leaders.”

See the full 2018 Headcount Enrollment Report here

See the full 2018 First-Time Freshman Report here

A detailed look at the 2018 UAB Student Demographic Report is available here