HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - At the beginning of every school year, most universities will evaluate their long term plan and growth. This year, the University of Alabama in Huntsville is setting standards when it comes to its growing population.
UAH is seeing the result of a strategic plan put in place by university leaders years ago.
This school year, the university has record enrollment, the largest freshman class and the highest ACT test average in the school's history.
A few key areas are responsible for this growth.
"We've expanded our recruiting area," said Ray Garner with UAH. "We're bringing in many more students from out of state and it's an attractive place. Huntsville is an attractive place to live and work and of course, the university here offers a quality education."
Another area seeing growth is the school's financial aid process and the chance to be more competitive with other universities.
Although, the once "commuter only" school is no more.
"We're transitioning to more residential," said Garner. "We've got construction on the new residence hall and when that is completed in the fall of 2018, that will give us 2,000 students living on campus."
Garner said the university hopes that will create a new energy on campus, more student life and in turn, make UAH even more attractive for potential students.
Growth by the numbers
- The university currently has 9,101 students, an increase of 633 since last fall.
- The incoming class scored an average of 27.9 on their ACT, the highest in the school's history.
- The freshman class contains 1,345 students -- a double-digit increase when compared to the same number last year.