The University of Toledo surged past 23,000 students as new scholarship programs, financial aid efforts and increases in returning upperclassmen pushed UT’s headcount to 23,064 graduate and undergraduate students at the official 15-day census point.
The figure is a 3.3 percent increase over last fall’s 22,324 and represents the seventh consecutive semester of enrollment growth for UT, dating back to fall 2006.
UT’s full-time equivalency (FTE) — the figure used to determine state subsidy — also increased, up 4.5 percent from last fall. FTE is calculated by the total number of course credit hours taken by students divided by 15, and often conveys a more accurate representation of the way enrollment affects an institution’s fiscal picture.
“For more than three years, the start of each semester highlights the fact that more and more students want to pursue their educational goals at The University of Toledo,” said Lawrence J. Burns, vice president for external affairs and interim vice president for equity and diversity.
“Programs like the Blue and Gold Scholarship [formerly the UT Guarantee] are enabling us to reach out to academically qualified students and help them be a part of this institution’s growth and success,” Burns said.
UT selected the largest 21 urban public school systems for the Blue and Gold Scholarship Program. Those students who are Pell Grant-eligible and have a 3.0 GPA or greater qualify to earn the Blue and Gold Scholarship, which covers remaining tuition costs after federal and state aid have been applied.
Kevin Kucera, associate vice president for enrollment services, emphasized that UT’s student body is steadily improving academically and in its diversity.
“By recruiting and enrolling better academically prepared students, we’re seeing larger percentages continue their education into their sophomore and junior years,” Kucera said. “We’ve also seen steady growth in minority populations. In 2006, we had 490 African Americans in our freshman class. This semester, we’re nearly at 1,100.”
UT’s strategic plan currently sets a goal of enrolling 20,000 undergraduate students by 2011. With two years to go, UT’s undergraduate population stands at 18,140.
UT President Lloyd Jacobs said the continued enrollment increases show students across Ohio and into Michigan are recognizing the value of a University of Toledo education.
“Success is contagious. UT’s story is being told and retold regionally, nationally and even internationally,” Jacobs said. “Strong students are going to seek out strong institutions to help them meet their career and educational goals. The outstanding efforts of our Enrollment Services staff, our faculty, our current students and our alumni are all coming together to highlight a story at UT that people want to be a part of.”