2018 2018: First-year student enrollment grows 7.7 percent

2018 2018: First-year student enrollment grows 7.7 percent
First-year student enrollment grows 7.7 percent

New first-year, transfer, online, graduate, and law enrollment all rise


Reversing a four-year decline, UMass Dartmouth’s overall enrollment grew this year, driven by increases in new undergraduate students.

“High school students, parents, and guidance counselors are recognizing that UMass Dartmouth is providing a private college educational experience and a public university value in a 710-acre park-like setting just 15 minutes from the ocean,” said Chancellor Robert E. Johnson, who just began his second academic year leading the Tier 1 National Research University.

According to preliminary data, a total of 8,518 students enrolled at UMass Dartmouth this fall compared to 8,412 at the same time last year, a 1.3 percent increase despite the university graduating its largest class ever – 1,995 undergraduate and graduate students -- in May, 2018.

The enrollment of new first-year students increased 7.7 percent, from 1,320 to 1,421. The number of transfer students, including those who transferred from Mount Ida College, increased from 610 to 733, a 20.2 percent increase.

At the same time, the academic quality of new first-year undergraduate students has improved, with average SAT scores increasing from 1076 to 1084 and grade point average increasing from 3.15 to 3.25.

At the graduate level, overall enrollment grew 1.9 percent, from 1,642 to 1,673. This was driven by the School of Law, which enrolled 94 new students this fall, a 17.5 percent increase over last year. The law school has also rapidly increased its bar pass rate, and now is outperforming four other New England law schools on bar exam passage rates.

Meanwhile, online class enrollments have increased from 6,035 to 6,917 over the last two years, a 14.6 percent increase. This indicates the rising demand for courses where the barriers of time and distance are eliminated for students balancing the competing pressures of school, family, and work.