Office of University Communications & Marketing

UNA’s Record Enrollment Defined by Smart Growth

Aug. 29, 2019



Michelle Eubanks, UNA, at meubanks@una.edu, 256-606-2033 or 256-765-4392 

FLORENCE, AL – Although official enrollment numbers won’t be available until Oct. 31, administrators at the University of North Alabama attribute the fall enrollment trends to a sustained interest in UNA by students of all types and a strategic smart growth model. 

“Sustained and strategic growth is critical for the University of North Alabama where state funding lags behind other similarly sized public institutions,” said President Ken Kitts. “Our growth indicates that UNA is the kind of environment students crave, whether those students are international, freshmen, or online.” 

UNA expects the final enrollment to roughly 8,000 students, surpassing the previous enrollment record set in the fall of 2018 when more than 7,600 students were enrolled. 

“We’re experiencing increases in freshmen and international student enrollment for a number of reasons, including strong and relevant academic programs and innovative scholarship packages,” said Dr. Ross Alexander, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. “Our traditional campus-based population is growing in addition to students enrolled in our online programs. As a result, we have increases among all three student populations – freshmen, international, online – which is the opposite of enrollment trends elsewhere across the state and region.” 

Workforce development outreach initiatives focused on working adults, including learning agreements and memorandums of understanding with a variety of businesses and industries throughout the state and in parts of Mississippi and Tennessee, are part of that online education model and the strategic smart growth initiative, Alexander said. 

“UNA has sustained a steady three percent increase in enrollment for the past five years, and I would expect that we would continue to see that growth for the next few years,” he said. “Even with that model in place, we are committed to having UNA maintain its traditional identity. We don’t want to change the rich and dynamic campus-based experience of our traditional students, and we’ve been able to accomplish that by growing and evolving in multiple ways and multiple modalities.” 

Enrollment growth is just as vital to the local economy as it is to the campus, Alexander said. 

“Just a single new student on campus translates into tens of thousands of dollars for the Shoals economy,” he said. “Smart, sustained growth, including greater numbers of traditional, campus-based students means millions of new dollars for the Shoals economy each and every year.” 

A final count of enrollment is anticipated by Oct. 31 as new eight-week courses are available in several programs, some of which don’t begin until mid-October. 


About The University of North Alabama 

The University of North Alabama is an accredited, comprehensive regional state university offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs through the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Human Sciences, and the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions. Occupying a 130-acre campus in a residential section of Florence, Alabama, UNA is located within a four-city area that also includes Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia. UNA Athletics, a renowned collegiate athletics program with seven (7) Division II National Championships, is now a proud member of the NCAA Division I’s ASUN Big South Conference. The University of North Alabama is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate in the admission policy on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age, or national origin. For more: www.una.edu and www.una.edu/unaworks/