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Loyola releases fall enrollment numbers

Loyola press release - October 11, 2010

Loyola University New Orleans officials report the university is continuing to see growth in its student body, with a 1.5 percent increase in total enrollment and a 6.4 percent increase in all undergraduates.

This fall, Loyola welcomed 927 academically talented new students, which includes 782 first-year students and 145 transfer students. Applications rose for the fourth consecutive year, increasing 25 percent over last year with 5,399 applications, compared to 4,320 for the 2009-2010 school year. Including undergraduate, graduate, law school, and transfer students, total enrollment for 2010-2011 is 4,982, compared to 4,910 during the 2009-2010 school year. Graduate student enrollments met expectations, with 1,000 graduate students attending this year, compared to 1,061 last year. Also, the new Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program began accepting students in the spring, and reported 22 incoming students this fall.

“This is the second year in a row that the retention of our first-year students has been 82 percent. This is significantly higher than the national average of 72 percent, and something we should be proud of,” said Sal Liberto, vice president for enrollment management. “We are also excited to have set another record for new student applications and we are already on pace to best that in fall 2011.”

First-year students decreased this year, with 782 students compared to 806 last year. However, Loyola’s 2010 incoming freshman class profile is consistent with freshman profiles of previous years. Over one-third of its 2010 incoming freshman class held office or were involved in their high school government associations. Loyola continues to rank in the top quartile of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities standardized test scores for incoming freshman. The average SAT score for students was 1,205, the average ACT score was 26 and the average high school GPA was 3.75.

Of Loyola’s first-year students, 59 percent are from out-of-state markets, with solid growth in Texas, Florida and California, in addition to gains in New England and the Northeast, and a big jump in students from the Chicago area. The first year students come to Loyola University from 18 countries and 45 states and territories. Ethnic and minority enrollment has increased from 36.8 to 39.3 percent, and there is a continuing increase in female students, which now makes up 58.4 percent of this year’s class. Hispanic-Americans make up 13.7 percent, African-Americans 18.1 percent, and Asian-Americans 4.5 percent of the class.

The College of Law, which did not experience a decrease in enrollment following Hurricane Katrina, purposefully streamlined its class size this year in order to improve the quality of its accepted students and to provide them with more individual attention, according to Kathryn Venturatos Lorio, interim dean for the College of Law. The college reported 292 new students this fall compared to 345 last year. The overall enrollment figures for the law school are 855 compared to 902 last year. Lorio said that by reducing its acceptance rate, the college will be able to produce higher quality students and better meet the needs of the market.

“This year, we admitted the highest credentialed class ever in the history of the law school. The law school admissions test scores and undergraduate GPA scores were higher than any incoming class we’ve ever had,” said Lorio. Loyola has seen dramatic increases in enrollment in certain programs: bio-chemistry pre-med (17%), psychology (23%), accounting (35%), English literature (14%), business of music (63%), criminal justice (19%), international business (21%), visual arts studio (19%), psychology pre-med (13%), and mass communication (8%).

For the last 20 years, Loyola has retained its position among the top 10 regional universities in the South as posted by U.S. News & World Report. In the 2011 edition of the publication’s “America’s Best Colleges,” Loyola University is ranked seventh in the Best Master’s Universities in the South category and eighth in the Great Schools, Great Prices category.

Loyola’s J. Edgar and Louise S. Monroe Library is listed as the Princeton Review’s seventh “Best College Library” in the country. According to The Princeton Review, Loyola University’s College of Social Sciences is one of the Great Schools for Communications Majors and Great Schools for Journalism Majors.