UL Lafayette's Ragin' Cajuns Water Ski Team claimed its second consecutive national title on Saturday, bringing its overall total to eight championships.
Overall enrollment numbers increased at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette this semester and first-time freshmen numbers are reflecting that increase. Numbers like grade point averages and ACT scores also indicate these students are better prepared than ever for their college careers.
According to enrollment figures, UL Lafayette saw an 8.6 percent increase or 214 students in first-time freshmen entering this semester. Of that increase, 198 were in-state students while 16 were out-of-state. These numbers along with those of returning students, transfer students, continuing students and graduate students bring total enrollment to 16,199.
" We believe that these increases are in some part due to the national recognition the university recently received as being one of the Best Southeastern Colleges by The Princeton Review and one of 20 ‘cool’ schools by Careers and Colleges magazine," said UL Lafayette’s Dean of Enrollment Management Dan Rosenfield. "We’re finding that as we visit high schools, attend college fairs and receive information requests from students, we’re talking to students with solid academic backgrounds who are very well-prepared for success in college."
For instance, the freshman class entering the university this semester includes 73 valedictorians - a record number for UL Lafayette. These students are coming from 46 high schools across the state and are student government leaders, class officers, Beta Club members, National Honor Society members and outstanding athletes.
The average ACT scores and GPAs for first-time freshmen this semester are 20.87 and 3.07 respectively. Both are increases from last fall.
" All of these increases represent the work of selective admissions being implemented at UL Lafayette," said Vice President for Academic Affairs Steve Landry. "We’re hoping to see these increases continue as admission standards go up."
The next set of selective admission standards is scheduled to go into effect in 2005. Currently, students must meet certain criteria like scoring between 18 and 23 on the ACT exam and having a grade point average between 2.0 and 2.3 to enter the university.
According to UL Lafayette’s Scholarship Director Adele Bulliard, the average student in the incoming class far exceeded the current admission standards. She noted that four-year scholarships including those for academics were offered to highly qualified students including those in the freshman class. These scholarships totaled more than $3.5 million.
In addition, more out-of-state tuition fee waivers were offered this semester. "In all, we offered qualified students from 26 states this waiver," said Bulliard.
It is granted to out-of-state students who meet specific admission requirements including standardized test scores and grade point averages among other criteria.
" Once students look at UL Lafayette, they see the strong degree programs and active campus life we offer and realize what a bargain we are compared to the cost of other colleges," said Rosenfield.