Southern University at New Orleans saw its fall enrollment rise 4 percent to 3,176 students compared to last fall’s 3,046.
SUNO’s enrollment increase included an 11 percent jump in first-time freshman. The school went from 241 freshman last year to 268 this year.
Enrollment has become more of an issue at public colleges around the state over the past several years as Gov. Bobby Jindal and the Legislature have cut $700 million from colleges and universities to help balance state budgets.
Tougher admissions standards mandated by the state have also made it tougher for schools such as SUNO to enroll students. The school has traditionally catered to economically disadvantaged populations.
SUNO administrators, in a prepared statement, attributed the enrollment increase to the university’s new West Bank satellite campus in the Landry-Walker High School Complex in Algiers, allowing students on that side of the city to attend courses without crossing the river.
Administrators also credited the enrollment jump to interest in SUNO’s new forensic science bachelor’s degree program — the first such program in the state.
In a city known just as much for its violent crime as for its arts and culture, the degree program, has so far, been endorsed by a number of different organizations and by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
The program is being touted as one more tool authorities can use to fight crime in the city.