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Ohio University welcomes highest achieving class on record, sees continued growth in online programs

Published: September 18, 2019 Author: Staff reports

Ohio University welcomed its most accomplished freshman cohort to date with the Fall 2019 first-year class, which posted a record-high grade point average and the highest proportion of students in the top 10 percent of their classes.

The fall freshman class had an average GPA of 3.55 on a 4.0 scale. Also, 20.3 percent of the students came from the top 10 percent of their class, up from 17.6 percent last year, Executive Vice President and Provost Chaden Djalali said.

The class includes the first full cohort of the OHIO Honors Program, which includes nearly 350 students. Creation of the program was one of Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis’ first strategic priorities announced in 2017. President Nellis said OHIO Honors builds on the university’s long-standing tradition of providing a best-in-class honors experience through the highly competitive and individualized Honors Tutorial College. While the traditional tutorial model continues to thrive, the new University-wide program provides a broader group of students access to honors programming at Ohio University with a focus on experiential learning in the classroom and community.

“I’m excited to see just how much this incoming cohort of students, and all of our students, can accomplish during their time here at Ohio University and beyond,” President Nellis said. “These students have remarkable promise, and our collective goal at Ohio University is to provide them with the support and opportunities they need to reach their greatest potential.”

The University welcomed an incoming freshman class of 3,671 and now has a total of 32,637 students across all campuses and online. That includes 19,856 students enrolled on the Athens Campus, including graduate and medical students.

In addition, 7,242 enrolled in online classes as hybrid and online offerings continue to grow. Ohio University has long been a leader in online education, having been one of the first to offer an online accredited RN-to-BSN program to meet the demand for baccalaureate-trained nurses across the country. That program continues to represent more than half of OHIO’s online student enrollment, but other programs have seen steady growth.

This fall, Ohio University enrolled 3,177 undergraduate and graduate students in its more than 40 online programs outside the RN-to-BSN, a 10 percent growth from Fall 2018. Over the last five years, Ohio University’s non-nursing online programs have grown by 54 percent.

“Our colleges continue to develop new online programs to meet students where they are,” Ohio University Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer Brad Cohen said. “We recognize that today’s learners are changing. They want an educational experience that can flex to meet their lifestyle and career needs, and Ohio University will continue to evolve to meet those needs.”

The Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine’s enrollment also saw continued enrollment growth in the Dublin and Cleveland locations, with a total of 979 medical students enrolled system-wide – 96 percent of which come from Ohio, and 18 percent of which are first-generation students. The Fall 2019 enrollment figures were provided to the state on the 15th day of fall semester.