PORTALES—Eastern New Mexico University in Portales has surpassed an enrollment of 5,000 for the first time in school history with 5,080 students. The previous record was 4,685 students in the 2009 fall semester, so this semester’s enrollment is an increase of 8.4 percent over that number. Before that, the previous record of 4,342 in the fall of 1972 had stood for 37 years.
Semester credit hours, the key to funding for higher education institutions in New Mexico, increased by seven percent.
ENMU’s record enrollment includes 4,090 undergraduate and 990 graduate students. These numbers include 1,396 freshmen and sophomores, 2,223 juniors and seniors and 990 graduate students. (Undergraduate totals do not match the totals for freshmen through seniors because of non-degree-seeking students.)
Campus housing is also bustling with approximately 1,050 students living on campus.
“We’re very happy with enrollment, in terms of numbers and quality,” said Steven Gamble, ENMU president. “We’re especially happy that the average ACT scores of our new freshmen is 20.2, which exceeds the state average of 20.0.”
Gamble attributes the record enrollment to several factors. “We have hard-working, student-centered employees who have contributed greatly to this growth. Thanks to our dedicated professors, Eastern has a reputation for offering high academic quality at a low price, with genuinely personal attention for each student.”
“The state of the economy is also a big factor,” Gamble said. “It is no secret that in tough economic times more people attend higher education institutions to obtain the training and credentials to assist them in finding employment.”
Gamble said that while he is pleased with the record enrollment, he is most pleased with the caliber of students. “Numbers are nice, but it is the quality of our graduates and their contributions to society that make me the proudest.”