UA Welcomes Record Numbers of Freshmen, Graduate Students

  • September 13th, 2021
a large script A made up of the freshman 2021 class on the field of Bryant Denny Stadium
UA’s 2021 freshman class, pictured on the field of Bryant-Denny Stadium in the shape of a script A, is the largest in the University’s history.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The freshman class this fall at The University of Alabama is the largest to ever enroll, and includes a record number of National Merit Scholars, one indication of the academic quality of students.

There is also a record number of graduate students enrolled this fall as part of the University’s mission to provide a premier undergraduate and graduate education experience.

This fall, 38,320 students are enrolled at the Capstone, an increase from a year ago. It is the third year out of the last four years with a fall enrollment of more than 38,000 students.

This includes a record 7,593 freshmen, an increase of nearly 17% from the 2020 freshman class. Of those, 281 freshmen are National Merit Scholars, a 27% increase from a year earlier. Among all undergraduate students, there are 940 National Merit Scholars, also a record for UA.

The number of freshmen enrolled in Honors College jumped more than 14% with 2,053 honors students.

In addition, enrollment of freshmen from Alabama rose more than 8% with 2,963 in-state students, the most freshmen from Alabama in a decade. It’s the third consecutive year with an increase of freshmen from Alabama.

“This impressive group of freshmen chose to come to the University because of our unwavering commitment to helping students succeed in and out of the classroom,” said UA President Stuart R. Bell. “The Capstone’s reputation for academic excellence as the state’s flagship institution is widely esteemed, and this diverse and bright group of students will elevate themselves and the University to even greater accomplishments.”

The number of underrepresented minorities among freshmen also increased this year, gaining 37% to 1,295 students. All minorities make up 22% of the freshman class, nearly 3 percentage points more than the group’s make up of last year’s freshman class. Black or African American students are more than 10% of the freshman class.

Along with record numbers of freshmen, the 6,632 graduate, law and medical students enrolled this fall is a record for UA. Graduate School enrollment is up more than 7% from last year. As part of the strategic plan to increase the quality and number of graduate students to develop the next generation of scholars and to support the University’s research, scholarship and creative activity, graduate, law and medical enrollment has increased nearly 26% over the past five years.

UA, part of The University of Alabama System, is in the top tier of research institutions in the nation, according to the Carnegie Foundation Classification of Institutions of Higher Education of research activity for institutions that grant doctoral degrees.

With students from all 67 of Alabama’s counties, all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 92 countries, UA is educating and graduating more students than any college in the state, awarding more than 9,600 degrees over the past year.


Shane Dorrill, UA Strategic Communications,

The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.