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SUCCESS STORY: Slippery Rock University began the fall semester with its 11th consecutive year of enrollment growth.

SRU improves retention, diversity;
sets 2010 enrollment record

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - At Slippery Rock University, numbers are at record levels. More students, higher retention, greater diversity and incoming freshmen who ranked higher in their high school graduation class.

"We are pleased we have again been able to enroll some of the best and brightest students for our freshman class," said Amanda Yale, associate provost for enrollment services. "At the same time, we are retaining more students as they transition to their second year of studies, as well as those moving from their sophomore to junior and junior to senior year. Higher retention will be higher graduation rates."

Undergraduate enrollment increased by 200 students for 2010, while graduate enrollment remained steady, Yale said. SRU has reported enrollment increases in each of the past 11 years.

This year's overall enrollment is 8,852, up 2.4 percent from 8,648 a year ago. "We have set a plan of steady, but controlled, growth, and we are on target," Yale said.

"We attribute all of our increase to our enrolled students continuing their education and improved student retention," Yale said. Overall first-year retention at SRU now stands at 81.2 percent, 1.17 percent ahead of a year ago. "Our second- to third-year retention is up by more than 3 percent, and our junior-to-senior retention rate is up by more than 1 percent."

"Graduate student numbers remained stable this year with 827 students enrolled in master's degree programs, compared to 823 a year ago," Yale said.

The formal 15th-day enrollment report, the official enrollment as set by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, shows entering freshman at SRU had a 3.39 grade-point average in high school. The report shows 13.1 percent of this year's freshmen were in the top 10 percent of their high school class, up from 12.3 percent a year ago, and that 42.8 percent of new freshmen at SRU were in the top 25 percent of their high school graduating class, up from 42 percent a year ago.

The average incoming freshman's SAT score was 1018, compared to 1026 a year ago.

Students enrolled for 123,948 credit hours of instruction, compared to 120,508 a year ago, a 2.85 percent increase.

Diversity continued to improve on the campus with African-American students now numbering 469, up 10.9 percent from the 423 enrolled last year. Hispanic student enrollment is 118, up from 102, or 15.7 percent, and Native American student enrollment this year is 38 students, representing a 46.2 percent increase.

"Our numbers for students transferring from other institutions to study at SRU were stable, and we closed transfer admissions in June to allow for a small increase in the number of admitted freshmen," Yale said. SRU has 613 transfer students this year, 76 students less than a year ago. The freshman class totaled 1575, 30 more students than last year. Freshman admissions closed May 1.

SRU has 5,115 women enrolled this year, and 3,737 men.

The fall semester fulltime undergraduate number is 7,355, compared to 7,158 a year ago, with 369 part-time undergraduates, compare to 365 a year ago. Some 300 students are listed as returning for post-baccalaureate work or as special students.

Out-of-state enrollment continued to climb with 863 students enrolling from outside Pennsylvania, compared to 773 a year ago, an 11.6 percent increase. SRU's enrollment finds the large number of students come from Pennsylvania, followed, in order, by Ohio, New York, Maryland and New Jersey.

The current enrollment report shows the largest group of SRU students are from, in order, Allegheny, Butler, Mercer Beaver and Lawrence counties.