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SUNO enrollment highest since Katrina - Friday, September 17, 2010
Southern University, New Orleans' (SUNO) enrollment has risen for the Fall 2010 semester and has reached its highest number since Hurricane Katrina. The University's success comes despite projections that the enrollment would dip below 2,900 students due to new higher admission standards.

SUNO's Fall 2010 enrollment stands at 3,166 after recording 3,141 students in the Fall of 2009. The Fall 2010 enrollment surpasses the projected enrollment by 9 percent.

"We are very pleased with these results," said Victor Ukpolo, chancellor of SUNO. "Once again, our recruiters, faculty, and staff answered the call to welcome students to SUNO even with predictions that our enrollment would suffer. We are overcoming major obstacles to become a much stronger institution, as indicated by yet another increase in enrollment and also indicators that our retention rate is on the rise."

Having been an open enrollment institution since its opening in 1959, SUNO implemented the Louisiana Board of Regents Regional Minimum Standard criteria for Fall 2010. The criteria call for students to have completed the Board of Regents high school and TOPS core curricula and a requirement of no more than one remedial course for immediate admission. A third part of the criteria calls for students to have either a high school grade point average of 2.0 or higher, an ACT composite score of 20 or higher, or to rank in the top 50 percent of his/her graduating class. First-time freshmen who were required to meet the new higher standards averaged an ACT composite score of 19, a significant increase from the average of 15 from the past ten years for SUNO.

The SUNO administration is highly encouraged by the upward trend of its fall-to-fall retention rates. According to the Board of Regents, the total retention rate for the Fall 2006 cohort tracked at 50.3 percent, the Fall 2007 cohort tracked at 53.8 percent, and finally, the Fall 2008 cohort revealed that the University retained 57.5 percent of its students. The University anticipates continuing its upward retention trend for the future.