PEMBROKE — The University of North Carolina at Pembroke set an all-time record for its largest freshman class with 1,233 new students, an increase of nearly 15 percent compared with last fall.
Total enrollment surged ahead by three percent for the fall 2015 semester to 6,455, school ofiicials said.
With 595 new transfer students, it is the second consecutive record-breaking year in this category.
The freshman class totaled 1,233 students compared to 1,074 last fall. Residence halls are at full occupancy with 2,130 students living on campus.
New graduate students increased by nearly 26 percent, and the Master of Business Administration program (MBA) added 40 new students compared with eight last fall.
Chancellor Robin Cummings said the report is an opportunity for the university to continue changing lives through education.
“This is very exciting news for us,” Cummings said. “It is gratifying to know that young people are choosing UNCP in growing numbers.
“We have a great story to tell future students, and our admissions staff communicates this message effectivelyOur faculty and staff care about students and genuinely want them to succeed.”
Dr. Melissa Schaub, associate vice chancellor for Enrollment, said the successful recruiting year was a campus-wide effort and singled out the Office of Admissions for praise.
“The undergraduate admissions staff has done a fantastic job of finding students who are a good fit for UNCP, and helping those students see why UNCP should be their institution of choice,” Dr. Schaub said. “They have been revamping their processes dealing with freshman and transfer recruitment since 2013, and this year’s new student body shows that those changes are bearing fruit. We communicate with prospective students more effectively, and we give them a chance to get to know UNCP and the campus before making their decision.”
Dr. Schaub also thanked the staff of the orientation programs, academic support staff, and faculty.
“The biggest thanks go to the entire UNCP community,” Dr. Schaub continued. “Students consistently say that one reason they chose UNCP was the friendliness of the campus atmosphere. Everyone is a part of that, from faculty who teach engaging classes and personally mentor their advisees, to staff who make sure that the classrooms and cafeteria are always in the best condition.”
Dr. Rebecca Bullard-Dillard, dean of the School of Graduate Studies, was pleased with the new class.
“The improvement in our numbers is the result of our strategic efforts to grow enrollment in programs that the students in our region want and need. The remarkable follow up recruiting efforts by the faculty of our programs and the graduate admissions staff, have resulted in strong enrollment increases for this year. ” Dr. Bullard-Dillard said. “The new MBA class is more than four times as large as last year due to the strength of its new online option.”
Ereny Gerges, a sophomore from Charlotte, agreed that UNCP is the right place for her.
“I came here because I wanted to not just be a number but to feel like people know me,” Gerges said. “I wanted the personal approach to education.”
In fact, her positive student experience made an impact on her family as Gerges’ sibling also chose to call UNC Pembroke home and is among the record-setting freshman class.
“Wherever you want to land in life, you can get there from here,” she said.