UAS sees increase in full-time enrollment

Students gather outside at the UAS Auke Lake Campus on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012. (Photo by Heather Bryant/KTOO)

More than 3,100 students are enrolled at three University of Alaska Southeast campuses for the fall semester. And while that’s fewer than last year, the number of full-time students is up.

The final report for fall registration indicates a 3.9 percent decrease in headcount, which shows up in the number of part-time students, usually a staple for the small Southeast school.

Chancellor John Pugh says he’s not sure why there are fewer part- time students. Full-time students are more economical for the university.

“Thirty-nine percent of our undergraduates are full-time. Last week it showed 31 percent, so it just keeps climbing,” Pugh says. “So we see a lot of kids wanting to go to school full time and work toward their degree completion and that’s a good thing.”

While the total number of registered undergraduate students is down slightly in Juneau – the number of graduate students is up nearly 7 percent. Fewer undergrads are enrolled in Sitka, but Ketchikan is seeing a small increase.

Classes started Thursday; Juneau campus dorms are full, and Pugh describes a “great atmosphere” on the Auke Lake campus.

He says the number of traditional students – those 18 to 24 years old — continues to increase at all three campuses.

“They’re coming from local high schools, Thunder Mountain and Juneau-Douglas high school, [and] all around Southeast Alaska, particularly. We are getting students from Anchorage, Fairbanks, Kenai Peninsula, and Mat-Su as well in our mix now,” Pugh says. “It’s a good thing that we’re growing with traditional-age students right out of high school from around the state. As they see more and more of our graduates kind of spreading out across the state, they’re beginning to see what UAS is like and what kind of graduates we produce and I think that’s making a real difference in our recruitment.”

Still, the average age of UAS students is 32, due to the large number of older non-degree seeking students.

Pugh says students outside Alaska primarily come from the Pacific Northwest states, and this year from Colorado, Texas and the East Coast.

Twenty-five percent of UAS students have enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences. Other top majors include School of Management and Education, while 20 percent of undergrads have not declared a degree.

UAS undergraduate tuition is $165 per credit hour for lower division courses and $200 per credit for upper division courses. It is set by the University of Alaska Board of Regents.