Out-of-state students fueling enrollment growth at the University of Alabama

UA recruiting out of state

TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - University of Alabama senior Emerald Vaughn is one of the 1500 students who enrolled here from Illinois.

"There was a recruiter in my area. When I spoke to that person, that helped me make the final decision to come here," Vaughn explained.

The University has 32 recruiters stationed around the country to encourage kids to enroll at the Capstone.

That's pumped enrollment up to a new high of 33,000 undergraduate students this year.

Fifty-nine percent of them are from out-of-state according to Richard Barth, Vice President of Enrollment Management at UA.

"It shows the diversity of our campus to have students represented from all over the country. But it also, if we can get them on campus, chances are we're going to enroll them," Barth explained.

Many of those out-of-state students are also getting scholarships according to a recent article from the Chicago Tribune.

The article posted last week said in part, "Alabama colleges are luring more Illinois high school seniors away from in-state universities partly through financial perks. More than 1600 Illinois students enrolled at the University of Alabama last fall, up from about 150 students a decade ago. The university awarded more than 200 full-tuition scholarships to freshmen from Illinois last year."

Shane Richardson, an out-of-state student from Michigan, believes he knows why Alabama is so attractive to out-of-state enrollees.

"Alabama for the last several years has been branching out with scholarships all over the place so I understand why people want to come here," Richardson told WBRC.

Barth argued the beauty of Alabama's campus and the culture here is a big attraction.

"Over 51 percent of our out-of-state students are not on a merit-based scholarship," Barth went on to say.

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