This Fall’s Freshman Class to Be Radford's Largest

Radford University is on track to enroll the largest freshman class in its history, admissions data indicate.

As of June 6, the university had received deposits from more than 2,100 freshmen for fall 2011. That is up 13 percent from the same date in 2010 and up 42 percent from 2009.

The university is well on its way to achieving an enrollment goal of 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students over the next few years. “We are aiming to increase in-state undergraduate enrollment by 1,400 students within six years,” said Steven Nape, vice provost for enrollment planning and management.

“Our increasing in-state enrollments are a reflection of the quality of the academic and other programs we offer,” Nape said. “We have an outstanding faculty and staff who are the foundation of those programs, and we are proud to be serving and meeting the needs of our Virginia students.”

Radford University is positioned to play a major role in Governor Bob McDonnell’s "Top Jobs for the 21st Century" legislation (TJ21). The goal of this legislation is producing 100,000 more Virginians with undergraduate college degrees by 2025. The TJ21 legislation emphasizes that the new degrees be in high-demand job sectors such as health care, technology and teaching. These are disciplines in which Radford is already a leader:

  • Of Virginia’s public four-year universities, Radford ranks No. 6 in degrees awarded in health professions, an area with a critical need for more practitioners.
  • Of the 38 colleges and universities in Virginia with teacher preparation programs, Radford University is the third-highest producer of teachers.

Based on Radford’s alumni records for the past five years, more than 80 percent of graduating Virginia students and 20 percent of graduating out-of-state students remain in the commonwealth, making the university a key contributor to the outcome of the TJ21 legislation. RU alumni have historically contributed significantly to the welfare of the commonwealth and its economy.

Radford is also one of the best values among Virginia’s 15 public four-year universities, Nape said. For the 2011-12 academic year, Radford’s total cost is the second lowest in the state.

Of this fall’s incoming freshmen, 94 percent are from Virginia. By region, about 31 percent are from Northern Virginia, 12 percent from the Richmond metropolitan area, 15 percent from the Roanoke metropolitan area and the Shenandoah Valley, and an equal portion from the Tidewater-Peninsula-Eastern Shore region. The state’s southern counties from Tidewater to the far southwest account for the other 21 percent.

To accommodate the increased number of freshmen students, the university has leased four off-campus apartment buildings for returning students this fall, said Richard Alvarez, vice president for finance and administration.

Jun 14, 2011
Deanne Estrada