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Enrollment drop OK

Tech has seen the number of students enrolled in undergraduate programs fluctuate over the past few years due to several reaso

Tech has seen the number of students enrolled in undergraduate programs fluctuate over the past few years due to several reasons, including Tech President Dr. Dan Reneau’s 10-year plan to improve Tech’s standing among quality universities.

The stricter academic standards for incoming freshman and transfer students have had a direct, predicted result on the decreased amount of undergraduate students on campus.

Superficially, lower enrollment numbers may seem less appealing than the previous, greater amount.

However, in adapting the steps necessary to improve the university’s prestige, the theme of “quality versus quantity” has come to mind.

The improved, “focused” academic state of Tech as a whole can be attributed to Dr. Reneau’s efforts.

“[Last] year was the year of academics,” Reneau said. “Seventy-five percent of the first time, full-time students were TOPS students. That is in comparison to 67 percent of TOPS students [the 2003-2004 school] year.”

These statistics correlate with the improved average composite ACT score of last year, which was a 22.5, as well as the 85 percent of freshmen who were on some form of scholarship.

The overall quality of the incoming freshman class has improved due to increased selective admissions, which were implemented this fall.

Applicants must have one of the following: an overall 2.50 grade point average on a 4.00 scale, ranking in the upper 25 percent of the graduation class or obtain a 23 composite ACT or 1060 SAT V+M score.

Rising standards in enrollment will consequently result in higher quality students, which is the end goal of the improvements Tech is seeking out.

The positive changes are being noticed by others outside of the Tech Family. The improvements have attracted students from South Louisiana, who were compelled, due to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, to look to other universities to continue their collegiate education.

Originally, students from south Louisiana zip codes comprised 17 percent of enrolled students at Tech. After Hurricane Katrina, about 300 students have transferred here.

International programs have also taken advantage of the more selective standards. Students who are of higher academic quality have invested more in the curriculum and have in turn improved the value. Graduate programs at Tech are also benefiting from the focused admissions. Already prominent colleges are further perfecting their areas of excellence. Undergraduate enrollment numbers may be more focused, but the morale and prestige that makes up the university is better than ever.

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