This year’s beginning freshman class registered the highest ACT average in Southern Arkansas University history.
The average score for the beginning average ACT in 2017-2018 was 21.8, besting the 21.7 score registered by the 2011-2012 freshman class. This year’s score surpasses the state average of 19.4.
“Traditionally, higher ACT scores are indicators that better retention and graduation will follow the better prepared incoming students,” said Dr. Donna Allen, vice president for student affairs. “This is especially exciting since this is a record enrollment class as well as highest ACT average.”
Retention and completion have become increasingly important to SAU and other Arkansas institutions due to the recent funding formula change with emphases on retention and completion.
“We have another exceptional group of freshmen this fall. It has been exciting to interact with them at the many activities we have had thus far and to see their enthusiasm and energy. I’m looking forward to seeing this transform into successful SAU careers,” Allen said.
Additional evidence of the caliber of SAU’s freshman class is that the Honors College welcomed its largest incoming group. Also, one of the two new residence halls that opened this fall, Burns-Harsh Hall, is home to more than 80 students who join those living in Columbia and Fincher Halls in being a part of SAU’s Residential and Leadership College (RC/LC) groups. To be eligible to live in these freshman halls, students are involved in community service projects and maintain membership criteria, including involvement and academic performance.
“We are not only excited that the undergraduate enrollment at SAU continues to grow, but also that the ACT levels of our freshman class are increasing,” said Dr. Trey Berry, president of SAU.
“Not only are more students choosing SAU, but more high-achieving students are making our campus their university home,” he said.