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Ohio University sets record for academic quality among enrolled freshmen

University recently ranked among the nation’s fastest-growing institutions of higher education


Enrollment numbers are in and Ohio University, once again, has been successful in its efforts to recruit an incoming class with high-quality academic credentials.  

For the fifth consecutive year, Ohio University enrolled more than 4,000 first-year students. The Class of 2021 set an all-time University record for freshman quality with a class average of 24.1 Composite ACT and a 3.54 Average High School GPA. Those numbers are up from 24.0 and 3.48, respectively, in 2016-17. Another indicator of academic strength is that 18.3 percent of this year’s first-year students graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class, which is an increase of 3.3 percent over last year and the highest percentage in 15 years.

Significant to note as well is that the University enrolled the second highest number of first-generation college students in recent history, with more than 25 percent of the incoming freshman reporting they are the first in their family to attend a four-year university to attain a bachelor's degree. This is also the second consecutive year with over 18 percent of the class from the Appalachian Counties in Ohio.

“Ohio University has demonstrated a commitment to offer quality educational resources to all students regardless of their race, zip code or family income,” said Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis. “The Class of 2021 exemplifies the meaning behind Ohio University’s dual mission of educational access and academic excellence.”

The University as a whole, including graduate and undergraduate students enrolled on all campuses and eLearning programs, is down approximately 1.5 percent from last year for an anticipated total of 35,877 students. The incoming freshman class of 4,045 is down 6.1 percent from last year.

Other OHIO enrollment metrics
In addition to those already noted, OHIO anticipates enrollments in the following areas:

  • Athens Undergraduates – down 271 (1.5%)
  • Graduate Students– up 161 (3.1%)
  • Medical Students – up 117 (14.5%)
  • eLearning Students (Grad and Undergrad) – down 31 (0.4%)
  • Regional Higher Education Students -  down 394 (5.7%)
     

“At a time when many public institutions across the nation are experiencing drastic declines in student enrollment, Ohio University is pleased that even though our enrollment figures are down slightly from previous years, the University is still trending consistently upward with over a decade of record enrollment at the institution overall,” said Nellis. “Additionally, as a testament to our growth, we were just named the 19th fastest-growing institution in the United States by the Chronicle of Higher Education for the third consecutive year.”

The Chronicle of Higher Education based their rankings on a comparison of student enrollment growth between 2005 and 2015. During this period, Ohio University’s total enrollment grew from 20,461 students in the fall of 2005 to 29,157 in the fall of 2015, an increase of nearly 43 percent.

OHIO is achieving similar success in other important rankings. In its 2018 Best Colleges rankings last week U.S. News & World Report rated OHIO 78th in the nation among public universities and 10th in best online graduate education programs. The University was also recently named one of the “Best Colleges” by MONEY Magazine – a longtime trusted leader in financial preparedness, and Fiske Guide to Colleges 2018 ranks OHIO 21st among public colleges and universities in the nation that qualify as "best buys" based on the quality of their academic offerings in relation to the cost of attendance.