The Numbers are Up!
As reported in a front page article in the Juneau Empire, the number of new students choosing to attend UAS is way up.
As of Monday, Aug.31, the UAS pool of applications was at 1,080 (+36.7%). Newly enrolled applicants are at 642, up nearly 33 percent over this time a year ago and enrolled first time freshman at 306 (+21.4%). Fortysix UA scholars (top 10 percent of Alaska high school graduates) signed up this Fall for an increase of 64.3%.
In a tight economy, more students choose public higher education. The economic factor combined with a strong joint marketing and recruiting effort is yielding strong results.
The total student population at the University of Alaska Southeast is usually about 90 percent Alaska resident and 10 percent non-resident. This fall semester is seeing a big increase in students from outside Alaska. According to registrar Barbara Hegel, 419 students are currently enrolled at UAS with an origin state other than Alaska comprising 17% of the student body. It should be noted that some of this group may not be degree seeking. In any case, with the inherent flux at the start of the school year these numbers are likely to change.
Of the degree seeking Alaskans newly enrolled for Fall 2009, just over one-third are from Juneau. More local recent high school graduates are either choosing to stay home for college or transferring back after attending school Outside. Reasons cited by students include saving money, exchange opportunities and unbeatable outdoor recreation.
“Snowboarding, finances and studying abroad” (in that order) brought Juneau Douglas ’07 graduate Ray Huebschen to UAS after two years at the University of Oregon, which has a student body of 20,000. “I like how different UAS is compared to U of O in terms of size, how easy it is to walk in and talk to advisors,” he said. Huebschen is also looking forward to riding the powder at Eaglecrest this winter. He said it was a “slap in the face” when hometown mountain Eaglecrest had a record snow year while in Oregon it took three hours to get to the slopes and there was not much snow. Huebschen is a math major with plans for a graduate degree in physics.
“We’re very excited that more new and transfer students are choosing to come to UAS,” said Chancellor John Pugh. "We’re particularly pleased that undergraduates from all over Alaska and the Lower 48 are engaging in academic opportunities unique to Southeast Alaska."
See August 31, 2009 article by former Juneau Empire intern and current Whalesong editor Randi Spray at: http://juneauempire.com/stories/083109/loc_488105224.shtml