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This item originally appeared in the April 1, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.

By JULIE MILLER

Staff Writer

University officials believe the current enrollment number is the highest it has ever been during any spring quarter.

According to information provided by Pamela Ford, dean of enrollment, the total number of students enrolled at the university this quarter is 10,366, up 488 from last year.

"It's a reflection of our great university," Ford said. "We're growing and gaining in reputation. Tech is an overall fabulous institution."

Jan Albritton, director of admissions, said selective admissions may have played a role in the record enrollment.

"We are attracting better students because of the selective admissions," Albritton said.

Albritton said admission requirements will change for the fall 2004, so it will be even more difficult to enroll.

Requirements will include completion of the TOPS curriculum, a score of at least 23 on the ACT, a high school GPA of 2.5 or a top 25 percentage ranking of the class and no more than one remedial class.

These changes have been made for Louisiana universities in Tier 2 of the Board of Regents, which includes Tech.

Local officials say this increase is good for the area.

Ruston Mayor Dan Hollingsworth said, "I believe that Louisiana Tech continues to have growth in admissions because of the university's commitment to excellence."

Hollingsworth also said young people see they will be competing with the world in the future and they want the best education available.

"Louisiana Tech has continued to raise their standards for students and faculty," Hollingsworth said. "By raising the standards, we also raise the bar of expectation."

This enrollment increase also affects the local economy, said Marc Chopin, associate professor of economics and associate dean for graduate studies and research for the College of Administration and Business.

"When [the students] come, they bring money with them and spend it on local business," Chopin said. "It's estimated that each student spends about $5,400 a year on living expenses. That money in turn will go over in the economy. Therefore, the enrollment increase is good for the local economy."

According to the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges, an average of $5 in economic activity is generated for every dollar the state invests in a public university. Also, two out of three graduates decide to settle down in the same town where they went to college.

Tech administrators are optimistic about the high enrollment.

Tech President Dr. Dan Reneau said the standard increase signals Tech's interest in highly qualified students.

"Good students not only go to good universities, but they also make good universities."

Rindy Metcalf, Staff Writer, contributed to this article.


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