Aspire to rise: celebrating 17th consecutive year of enrollment growth

Of the 17,161 undergraduate students that enrolled, 2,716 are in their first year at any college.

By Sarah Lawrence

Marking the seventeenth consecutive year of enrollment growth, 20,711 students enrolled at OU for the 2015-2016 academic year. This 200 student increase marked a record number of 17,161 undergraduate students, 2,716 of which are in their first year at any college.

This also prompted significant growth in the number of on-campus residents. For the first time, OU has filled every on-campus dorm room, including Oak View Hall, placing nearly 100 students on a waiting list for permanent housing. 

In addition to the jump in housing numbers, the Honors College welcomed its largest freshman class to-date. This group of 315 students, 40 percent of whom are presidential scholars (achieving a 3.9 cumulative high school GPA and scored 31 or above on ACT), pushed for an additional small group in the required HC100 course.  

“We’re thrilled to welcome such a large class of Honors College freshmen,” Karen Conn, Honors College office assistant said. “Dr. Harper is very focused on drawing students in with our highly competitive programs, in addition to placing a strong emphasis on building relationships with our students. We formed an additional group for our HC100 course as a way to maintain emphasis on the ‘small college within a big college’ feel, and to ensure our students receive all of the attention they need.”

The spike in the overall rate of enrollment places Oakland University as one of the top-choice universities in the state, despite its age.

“If you compare Oakland University to The University of Michigan, which has been around for nearly 200 years, it’s remarkable to see a young university like ours gain such popularity,” Brian Bierley, OU Director of Media Relations said. “It’s a great time to be at OU. There are so many exciting things happening on campus which is essential to our growing reputation. We’re only getting better.”

As part of its growing reputation, Oakland has maintained its status as the “hidden gem of Oakland County”, as administrators in all departments remain focused on the importance of low student-faculty ratios and developing professional relationships with students. 

“We are always looking for new ways to connect with our students, and keep to the path of increased enrollment,” Dawn Aubry, OU Director of Admissions said. “Our strong team of professional and clerical technicians along with our student admissions ambassadors help make is possible to review and improve our processes to help our students succeed through our campus tours, visits and recruitment events.”

Oakland University’s aspiration to rise has proved successful with the dramatic overall increase in enrollment for the 2015-2016 academic year. OU has proved to be one of the top-choice institutions in Michigan with a strong focus on improving student services and programs for the future.