12:00 AM

Ohio State is largest campus in the nation

Columbus – The Ohio State University is #1 in the nation in more than football. New autumn quarter enrollment figures show the Columbus campus has the nation's highest enrollment, with 51,818 students.

Enrollment at Ohio State has fluctuated slightly each year at around 50,000. However this year's enrollment reflects the fact that more students than expected are accepting admission to Ohio State and more students are staying to continue for another year.

“Our aim is not necessarily to be the biggest, but to be the best,” said President Karen A. Holbrook. “Students are attracted to Ohio State by the quality of our faculty and programming, and these numbers tell us we are succeeding.”

Recently, there's been a jockeying for position for the top spot among Arizona State University at Tempe, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, University of Texas at Austin and Ohio State at Columbus. Arizona State, which was largest last year, reports 51,234 this year; Minnesota reports 50,402 and Texas reports 49,738 students.

Ohio State's first-year class of 6,162 students, recruited from 19,000 applicants, is the most talented and best-prepared in the university's history in terms of test scores and class rank, continuing a trend that began 12 years ago. The average ACT score for the class was 26.4; the average SAT score was 1200. Forty-four percent were in the top 10 percent of their high school class and 80 percent were in the top 25 percent of their class.

As Ohio State students have become better prepared academically, more are staying in school and graduating. In 1994, 78 percent of freshman stayed to their sophomore year. This year, a record 91.5 percent of first-year students who entered a year ago have returned.

In addition, the size of the graduating classes has been steadily increasing, with each class setting a new record over the previous spring. Last spring, a record 7,643 students received their diplomas at spring commencement. Classes the previous two years exceeded 7,200. Of students who entered Ohio State in 2000, 71 percent have graduated, up from a rate of 68 percent last year and 55 percent for students who entered in 1990.

Diversity is also up, with students of color accounting for 15.8 percent of the 2006 freshman class, and 16.1 percent of the total university enrollment. There was a record high enrollment of 241 for American Indian or Alaskan Native students, a record high enrollment of 2,887 for Asian or Pacific Islander students and a record high of 1,305 for Hispanic students. African American enrollment remained nearly steady with 3,889 students, a declined of 0.1 percent. There was a record high of 29,469 female students for the entire university, with 49.9 percent of the entire student body comprised of women and 50.1 percent comprised of male students.

Other facts:

• Nine undergraduates are over age 65, and 648 are 17 or younger.

• Freshmen come from all 88 Ohio counties, 46 states, and more than 146 foreign countries.

• Total enrollment at all Ohio State campuses is 59,091, up from 57,748 last year. There were increases of 2.6 percent at Columbus (to 51,818), 6 percent at Lima (to 1,214), 3.6 percent at Marion (to 1,538), and 5.8 percent at Newark (to 2,310). The Mansfield campus decreased 9.1 percent (to 1,464) and the Wooster campus decreased 9 percent (to 747).

• Total undergraduate enrollment increased by 2.5 percent (up 1,110 to 45,417) and graduate enrollment by 2.4 percent (up 246 to 10,418). There was a .4 percent decrease in graduate professional enrollment (down 13 to 3,256).

The entire enrollment report can be found at http://www.ureg.ohio-state.edu/ourweb/srs/srscontent/AU06/AU06Report.pdf