UWF welcomes 12,021 students

UWF meets goal of 12K students on campus a year ahead of schedule. –

Press Release:
The University of West Florida (UWF) welcomed to campus 12,021 students today, a full year ahead of the goal of 12,000 students by Fall 2012.

This is UWF’s largest enrollment to date, a 2.7 percent increase from last year’s enrollment of 11,700, including the largest ever freshman class of 1,463 students. On-campus housing is at 97 percent occupancy, with 1,807 students residing on campus. That number is expected to increase to 1,865 and 100 percent occupancy, as vacancies are filled by students on waiting lists for housing.

“It is an exciting day at UWF as we open the new academic year,” said UWF President Judith A. Bense. “We are getting bigger, stronger, better and meeting our goal of purposeful growth. Growth is necessary and adds to the vitality of our campus and region. We are aware of the impacts of increased enrollment and larger freshman classes. We are making investments to ensure that even as we grow, we maintain our niche of small class sizes and personalized attention to students.”

Eighty-three percent of classrooms at UWF hold 60 or fewer students. The University will add 23 new faculty members and additional sections of courses to ensure that class sizes remain small and students continue receiving one-on-one assistance from faculty and support staff.

UWF is also expanding on-campus housing to account for an increase in demand. Heritage Hall, a 252-bed residence hall, opened last year, and Presidents Hall, another 252-bed residence hall, will open Fall 2012. Additionally, a new College of Business facility is under construction, and a new Health and Wellness Center just opened.

UWF also saw a 9 percent increase in the ethnic diversity of the incoming freshman class, which represents 34 percent of students.

“A significant part of the college experience is exposure to new ideas and new people,” Bense said. “I’m very pleased to know that we are recruiting a talented and diverse population of students at UWF.”

Other notable statistics for the 2011-12 academic year include:

Freshman applications: 5,629, a 20 percent increase
Transfer applications: 2,906, a 9 percent increase
Average ACT score of freshman: 22.75, higher than the state of Florida average (19)
Retention: 75 percent of first-time-in-college (FTIC) students in 2010 returned
Undergraduate enrollment: 9,625, a 3.7 percent increase
Graduate enrollment: 1,759, a 2.9 percent increase
UWF began welcoming students to campus last week, with students living on campus checking in as early as Wednesday. Approximately 2,200 students attended a welcome event at Target on Nine Mile Road, the first of its kind at UWF. Students took advantage of special sales, as well as music, games, giveaways and a free trolley service to and from campus.