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Ouachita reports highest total spring enrollment in more than 25 years

By Felley Lawson 
OBU News Bureau

ARKADELPHIA — Ouachita Baptist University has reported record spring enrollment for the second consecutive year, with a total Spring 2022 headcount of 1,663. This represents a 2.7% increase over Spring 2021 and the highest spring enrollment in more than 25 years. 

“Our institutional momentum can be seen in numerous building projects on campus including a $12 million apartment project that will house 144 students, as well as a state-of-the-art nursing education center.” 

— Dr. Ben Sells, Ouachita president

In Fall 2021, Ouachita celebrated a number of historic school records including its highest enrollment in 55 years and largest, most diverse freshman class in its history. The two semesters of back-to-back records are part of the university’s multi-year enrollment growth and are indicators of Ouachita’s momentum in recruiting and retaining students, even while total university enrollment in the state and nation continues to decrease. 

“Our institutional commitments and our highly personalized approach to students’ academic progress, personal development and spiritual growth distinguish Ouachita from all public universities and most private colleges,” said Dr. Ben R. Sells, Ouachita president. “Our faculty and staff know, encourage, challenge and support our students. We take a personal interest in them; their success is our success.” 

Sells noted new academic initiatives at Ouachita including undergraduate degree programs in nursing and criminal justice, as well as master’s programs in curriculum & instruction and applied behavior analysis, a leading treatment for people with autism spectrum disorder. 

He added, “Our institutional momentum can be seen in numerous building projects on campus including a $12 million apartment project that will house 144 students, as well as a state-of-the-art nursing education center.” 

Spring 2022 enrollment numbers include students taking classes from Ouachita’s growing menu of graduate and online programs, concurrently enrolled high school students and undergraduate students at Ouachita’s residential campus in Arkadelphia, Ark. 

Sells said, “Our focus on personal development and our careful planning of reasonable, common-sense protocols have allowed our students to have a fully in-person experience during the pandemic—something only 5% of all college students nationwide can claim.” 

Ouachita Baptist University, a private liberal arts university in Arkadelphia, Ark., is in its 136th year as a Christ-centered learning community and is ranked the No. 2 “Regional College in the South” by U.S. News & World Report. Learn more about the university’s highly personal approach, reflected in a student/faculty ratio of 13:1, at www.obu.edu.  

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