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Kentucky universities boost enrollments, degrees

University of Kentucky

The University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville — the state’s largest universities based on enrollments — each reported slight increases in enrollments for the latest academic years, capping off a decade of steady increases in university attendees.

That upward trend was common at public universities across the state as enrollments in degree programs rose 9 percent from 2003 to 2013, according to the latest enrollment report from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education.

Compared with 2012, enrollments at universities statewide were up 0.1 percent, to 128,598.

At UK, enrollments were up 1.6 percent from 2012 and 11.9 percent from 2003, to 29,385 students in 2013.

At U of L, enrollments were up 1.1 percent from 2012 and 5 percent from 2003, to 22,529.

The enrollment numbers include students in both undergraduate and graduate programs.

Overall, the state had 128,598 students enrolled at public, four-year universities in 2013, an all-time high, according to a news release from the council.

The report noted that while four-year public sector institutions posted gains in 2013, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System saw a 4.7 percent drop in enrollments, to 92,365 students.

Since 2003, KCTCS enrollment has risen 14.5 percent, according to the report.

“This decline reflects national patterns of two-year colleges that are more closely aligned to economic forces,” the release said. “As the job market improves, an increasing number of students return to the workplace.”

To view the report for the public colleges and universities, click here.

An earlier CPE report on degrees conferred by public institutions shows that the number of degrees awarded outpaced growth in enrollments — meaning more students are completing their degrees.

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