Student enrollment numbers show an increase in racial, ethnic and denominational diversity this year.
When compared to data from 2017, diversity percentages have continued to increase. White student population dropped from 61.29 percent to 60.06 percent. Black student population now stands at 12.53 percent, Asian student population stands at 1.34 percent and Hispanic student population stands at 16.60 percent.
Church of Christ affiliation among students dropped from 27 percent to 26.5 percent.
Dr. Robert Rhodes, the Provost, said the university is continuing to see a rise in diversity among its students, as well as a rise in academic preparedness.
“Within the last two or three years, we are seeing a gradual but steady rise in student quality,” Dr. Rhodes said. “When you look at a freshman class, part of what you’re looking at is the numbers, but you’re also looking at the composition of the class. Does the class reflect diversity? Is the class academically prepared? Are they drawn from a variety of areas of interest or areas of study? I would say, this class is as strong as any previous class. For the ACU experience, we always want as many students as possible and I think we are also careful to be sure that we are connecting students who really want what ACU offers and are interested in degrees that we provide.”
The freshman class currently holds more students than any other classification, which is not unusual for most universities. However, with 924 students, Dr. Rhodes said the freshman enrollment numbers appear to be a little lower than expected, but not significantly lower.
“Every freshman class is influenced by how many people are graduating in high schools and the quality of applicant we want to select,” Dr. Rhodes said.
Aside from Texas, California stands as the highest home-state ratio for freshman students nearly doubling the the third highest, Oklahoma, and the fourth, Tennessee. This high enrollment pull from California is a result of more recruitment, but also based on its’ higher overall population.
“We would expect from the two most populous states in the nation to have that be two of our high areas,” Dr. Rhodes said. “We draw strongly from Texas, because Texas is also one of the few states where high school graduation rates are still increasing. For many states they are declining.”
Texas remains a place of competition from universities across the United States because of the high graduation rates.
The university is continuing to expand, as well.
“In the last 4 years, we’ve increased by approximately 800 students, when you look at ACU Dallas and ACU Abilene,” Dr. Rhodes said. “So, collectively we’ve gone from about 4400 students to 5200 students as a university, between the two campuses. It is nice to see the growth in graduate programming, in addition to the growth in undergraduate programming.”