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UH Hilo enrollment of 3,000 hits historic milestone

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Date: Thursday, September 12, 2002
Contact: Jim Cromwell, (808) 974-7414

For Immediate Release

Enrollment at the
University of Hawai`i at Hilo
reached an important milestone this fall semester with preliminary figures showing enrollment increasing by 5.4 percent to 3,069 or 157 more students than Fall 2001. "This is extremely good news," said Chancellor Rose Tseng. "3,000 has been an important plateau to reach in meeting our enrollment goals, and I'm very pleased that we have now surpassed this number."

This increase continues a steady upward climb dating back to 1997, when enrollment stood at 2,639 and now spans five semesters: 2,730 (1998); 2,790 (1999); 2,874 (2000); 2,913 (2001).

"This year's growth is significant, but even more important is the fact that UH Hilo has sustained growth over the last five years," Tseng said. "To accomplish that during a period of budgetary constraints is a testimonial to our dedicated faculty and staff."

Reflecting the growth over the past several years, students from Hawai`i County are the largest and most significant group enrolled at 1,620 students or 78.9 percent for fall 2002. Over one-third of the student body is comprised of families on the Big Island and nearly one-fourth of enrolled students are graduates from the three high schools in Hilo. "Recruiting and graduating students from Hawai`i reflect the values, priorities and the mission of UH Hilo," Tseng said.

The Fall 2002 preliminary figures reveal that 67 percent of UH Hilo's enrollment is from Hawai`i. Numbers and percentages from the neighbor islands include: 184 students or 9 percent from O`ahu; 180 students or 8.8 percent from Maui; and 68 students or 3.3 percent from Kaua`i. The 1,017 non-residents enrolled this semester include 678 from the U.S. mainland and U.S. possessions, and 339 international students from 41 countries.

"We're very happy to see continued strong interest in UH Hilo from both the U.S. mainland and overseas. This certainly reinforces our reputation as a culturally diverse residential university," Tseng said. The Fall 2002 enrollment also revealed a higher retention rate. The figure, which tracks the percentage of new first-time freshmen who re-enroll the following year, reached 64 percent, compared to 58 percent a year ago. That was the best showing since 1994.

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