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UMES Tops USM Enrollment Growth Charts

  • Wednesday, November 22, 2006



    PRINCESS ANNE, MD - The University of Maryland Eastern Shore's fall enrollment increase of 6.7 percent is tops among the traditional four-year universities in the University System of Maryland (USM) in fall 2006. 

    Total enrollment at UMES is 4,130, the first time in the institution's 120-year history that the student body headcount has exceeded 4,000.  UMES has experienced significant enrollment growth for several years; in 1996 the headcount was 3,166.

    "The University of Maryland Eastern Shore has become an institution of choice for all students in Maryland," said President Thelma B. Thompson.  "Recent accreditations, our unique academic programs, an outstanding faculty, an infusion of new scholarships and one of the most beautiful campuses in America are drawing more and more students to UMES."

    UMES, a historically black college that is one of the most racially diverse among the USM's 13 universities and research institutions, has a student population that is 77.4 percent African-American, 11.3 percent white and 88.7 percent other races.  Students come from over 31 states and over 60 foreign countries.  All counties in Maryland are represented and 922 (22.3 percent) are from the Lower Eastern Shore.

    The University has 1,614 male students (representing 39.1 percent of the student body) and 2,516 female students.  Undergraduate students number 3,697, and graduate students, 433.  UMES had 29 undergraduate majors, 11 master's programs and six doctoral programs, and some 94 percent of the faculty have the terminal degree in their field of study.

    According to a USM preliminary enrollment report, 5.1 percent more students enrolled in System institutions this fall than this time last year. Headcount enrollment numbers have reached a record high, boasting 135,005 new students, excluding University of Maryland University College's (UMUC) overseas students, for the 13-member system.

    While Salisbury University (5.3 percent), Towson (5.1 percent), University of Baltimore (1.1 percent), University of Maryland, Baltimore (2.0 percent) and University of Maryland, Baltimore County (1.3 percent) all reported increases, UMES' enrollment increase of  6.7 percent is the highest increase since its founding.

    On a broader scale, the recent Minorities in Higher Education 22nd Annual Status Report (2006) indicates that African American students trail their white counterparts in terms of college enrollment.  The most diverse institution in the University System of Maryland, UMES enjoys the highest six-year graduation rate (50 percent) among the four black colleges in Maryland, and ranks with the leaders among historically black colleges nationally. 

    Furthermore, a significant number of UMES students graduating with a bachelor's degree attend graduate school.  Out of 389 students who graduated in the 2004-05 academic year, 101 (26 percent) attended graduate school.  University officials expect comparable numbers for the 2005-06 academic year.

    Importantly, in keeping with its mission, UMES enrolls large numbers of students who are first in their respective families to attend college. During the 2005-06 academic year, 51 percent of entering freshmen were first generation college students.    


    Suzanne Waters Street, director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-621-2355,

    The University of Maryland Eastern Shore, a research and doctoral granting institution on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, is a historically black university and home to 4,130 students.  The 742-acre campus, which includes a 350-acre research and teaching farm, is nationally recognized for the beauty of its grounds.  Its low student-to-faculty ratio, well-funded research programs, historic tradition of inclusiveness and constituent membership in the University System of Maryland combine to make UMES a strong engine of growth and development in its community, providing students with opportunities to learn from a well-balanced array of academic programs that respond to local needs as well as more global concerns.