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APSU’s fall enrollment growth outpaces peer institutions at 7.21%

By: Ethan Steinquest September 15, 2023

Students move into Castle Heights.
Students move into Castle Heights ahead of the Fall 2023 semester. 

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - The Austin Peay State University (APSU) Board of Trustees held a quarterly meeting on Friday, Sept. 15, and announced that initial census figures for the Fall 2023 semester show a 7.21% increase in the University’s enrollment.

That puts APSU’s growth rate ahead of the state’s other Locally Governed Institutions (LGIs), which are Middle Tennessee State University, East Tennessee State University, Tennessee Tech University, Tennessee State University and the University of Memphis.

“To have our overall enrollment up more than 7% as of the 14th day [of class] is fantastic news,” APSU President Mike Licari said. “It is absolutely tremendous, particularly in comparison with the rest of the state … right now we have record graduate enrollment, which is also bucking statewide trends, this is the largest freshman class that we’ve had in recent years [and] we have a record number of students at the Fort Campbell center.”

Dr. Chad Brooks, dean of APSU’s College of Graduate Studies, said there has been a 66% increase in overall graduate enrollment since 2016 as the University has added more degree programs.

“We are doing a more strategic job and launching marketing assets, but we’re also bringing relevant graduate programs to [meet] a market need,” he said. “Back in 2016, we had 47 different graduate program offerings, and now we have 84 … over the past few years, we have seen an 87% increase in [graduate] students walking across the stage.”

The trustees also approved a request to name the University’s new welcome center at 317 College St. the O’Malley Family Welcome Center. The name recognizes board vice-chair Mike O’Malley and his family for their longstanding support of APSU, including a recent $1.5 million donation.

“After completion, this facility will become a starting point for future students and visitors to meet with admissions officers, financial and academic advisers and tour the campus,” said Kris Phillips, APSU’s vice president for Alumni, Engagement and Philanthropy. “[The O’Malley Family Welcome Center] will be one of the anchors to the University’s growth as we become more entrenched in the downtown Clarksville corridor … [and a] beacon of red.”

Phillips said the project will involve 5,800 square feet of renovations to the former Honda dealership and showroom. Construction is expected to start in December, and the goal is to complete the work by Fall 2024.

The full meeting agendas and materials are available here. For more information on the APSU Board of Trustees or its previous meetings, visit https://www.apsu.edu/board-of-trustees.