UNA’s enrollment “roars” past 8,800 students, tops state in growth

Entrance to the University of Alabama in Florence, Alabama. Photo via UNA

This Fall, enrollment at the University of North Alabama (UNA) topped 8,800 students for the first time in school history.  The record enrollment marks the 11th consecutive term the regional state university has increased its numbers.

UNA Grew 6.2%

According to the Alabama Commission on Higher Education, UNA is the fastest growing four year public university in the state of Alabama. 

Between Fall 2020 to Fall 2021 the 130-acre campus in Florence, Alabama added 490 students—growing 6.2%.

Only five of Alabama’s 15 four year public institutions of higher education increased enrollment over the past year. Counting UNA, they included:

  • Jacksonville State University  – 3.3%
  • Auburn University – 2.6%
  • University of Montevallo – 2.5%
  • University of Alabama – 1.3%

“Thanks to the hard work of many on campus to achieve this milestone, we can say with assurance that the University of North Alabama is no longer the best-kept secret among higher education institutions in Alabama,” said UNA President Dr. Ken Kitts. “The UNA brand is strong–thriving, even in a challenging environment, and this is a significant occasion in our history.”

UNA cited the following reason for its growth:

  • A nine percent increase in first-time, full-time freshmen on campus;
  • UNA’s distinction as Alabama’s Workforce Development University, with an increased programmatic focus on Computer Science and Information Systems, Engineering, Business Administration, Nursing and Health Professions, Social Work and Elementary Education
  • Growth in the Delores and Weldon Cole Honors College, now with more than 635 members
  • A robust return of international students to the UNA campus; and
  • North Alabama Online regional, national, and international brand resonance.

“UNA’s record enrollment for the 11th straight term–in stark contrast to statewide, regional, and national enrollment declines is laudable, distinct, and noteworthy. It’s a testament to the quality of our on-campus, online, and workforce-focused programs that lead directly to good jobs and career advancement,” said Dr. Ross Alexander, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Overall enrollment statewide—counting both two year and four year public colleges increased 1.4%.

Pat Byington
Pat Byington
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