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Enrollment rises at Arizona public universities despite pandemic

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — Enrollment at Arizona’s three public universities is on the rise despite challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Enrollment at Arizona State University, University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University rose 4.5% from last academic year, according to the Arizona Board of Regents’ fiscal year 2021 fall enrollment report.

A total of 204,460 undergraduate and graduate students were enrolled in the schools, up from about 195,000 last year.

It’s the first time the universities have combined for more than 200,000 students.

The year before, enrollment increased by 4.7%.

“Amid the most challenging conditions faced by higher education in decades, Arizona’s public universities have been national leaders when it comes to pioneering solutions that allow instruction to continue while mitigating risk to students, faculty and staff members,” ABOR Chair Larry E. Penley said in a press release.

ASU was again key in the growing numbers, enrolling 103,609 undergraduate students, a 7.1% increase from last year.

UA asaw an increase of 2.3%, with a total of 35,706 enrolled undergraduate students.

NAU had a downtick of 4.8% in undergrads, enrolling 25,228 students.

The overall increase was aided by a jump of about 12,000 online students year-over-year.

On-campus undergraduate enrollment decreased by about 2,500 students from fiscal year 2020 to fiscal year 2021.

Online students now account for almost a third — or about 66,000 — of the student population.

ASU is home to about 54,000 online students.

“ASU, NAU and UArizona have done tremendous work to modify operations, adapt to changing conditions and deliver instruction to students wherever they are,” ABOR Executive Director John Arnold said in the release.

“These enrollment figures demonstrate students are still selecting Arizona public universities because they offer value and have earned trust through their response to this public health challenge.”

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