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St. Thomas University sets enrollment records for second consecutive year

St. Thomas University has achieved record undergraduate and total enrollment for the second consecutive year. The numbers were bolstered by growing enrollment in the online and graduate programs, as well as the St. Thomas University School of Law.

STU reported that 707 new full-time undergraduate students were enrolled as of Sept. 2 (the last day students could drop or add classes), an increase of nearly 4 percent over the same time last year. That brings STU’s total full-time undergraduate enrollment to 1,372 students compared to 1,238 last fall, an increase of nearly 11 percent.

Similarly, the STU School of Law continues to buck the national trend of diminishing law school applications and enrollment. This year, 263 new law students started classes, an increase of more than 8 percent. Total enrollment in the STU Law School has also increased over last year and currently stands at 678 students from 62 undergraduate colleges and 19 states. Eighty-one percent of those students identify as Hispanic, Black or Asian, a 4 percent increase in minority representation over last year.

Additionally, STU’s master’s and doctoral programs welcomed more than 350 new students for a total graduate enrollment of more than 1,200 students. That includes 1,004 online students, the largest number of online students ever enrolled for a fall semester and an increase of nearly 17 percent over last fall. There are nearly 250 new students in three online programs: RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing; Master’s in Nursing: Advanced Family Practice; and the Ed.D. in Leadership and Innovation. STU also has 126 students enrolled in campus-based doctoral programs, a 27 percent increase over last year and the highest enrollment in doctoral programs since the 2015-16 academic year. Much of that growth is due to the addition of a new Ph.D. in Ethical Leadership program, which added 61 new doctoral students.

The program that experienced the largest enrollment growth in 2020 is Nursing. Combined enrollment in undergraduate and graduate Nursing programs increased 61 percent over the past year, bringing the total number of students studying Nursing at STU to 609. Fall 2020 also marks the largest online Nursing enrollment at STU; 420 students are enrolled in online nursing programs, a 56% increase over the prior year.

“As pleased as we were last year to achieve record enrollment in multiple categories, this year is even more gratifying,” STU President David A. Armstrong, J.D., said. “When you do it once, you have a data point. Now that we’ve set records for enrollment in consecutive years, we have a positive trend. There’s a lot of excitement at St. Thomas University right now with record enrollment, record fundraising, new facilities, and new programs. We can ride this wave of positive momentum well into the future.”

This week, STU is holding classes for the first time in the new Gus Machado College of Business complex. At a cost of $21.4 million, the 46,521 square foot, twenty-first century complex reflects the modern workplace, has an open architecture, utilizes multi-purpose spaces and combines a robust technology infrastructure with the functionalities needed to learn real-life business practices. The academic building in the complex houses 20 new classrooms, including the Bloomberg Trading Room, a Global Conference Auditorium and a sky bridge.

STU is currently in the process of constructing a new weight room on campus, and is actively seeking funding for additional athletics facilities. STU will also break ground on a new residence hall in the coming months, which it hopes to open in time to welcome students for the Fall 2021 semester.

Michelle Tulande

Author Michelle Tulande

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