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Saturday, October 23, 2021
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UB reaches record enrollment with more than 32,000 students

University saw decrease in international students, increase in freshmen

<p>The Office of Admissions has had to do things differently during COVID.</p>

The Office of Admissions has had to do things differently during COVID.

UB reached record enrollment this semester with more than 32,000 students, according to the university’s factbook.

The university notched its highest total enrollment figure — 32,347, which includes enrollment from programs in Singapore and India — despite worsening nationwide enrollment data among international students and freshmen. As schools across the U.S. struggle with the fallout over the COVID pandemic, UB has bucked the trend.

“The university’s record-setting enrollment for fall 2020 is in line with our overall 2015 enrollment plan,” UB spokesperson John DellaContrada said in a statement. “Our students and families continue to choose UB because of our excellent academic reputation, depth and breadth of majors all offered at a tuition that is a fraction of the cost of our peer universities.”

In 2015, UB President Satish Tripathi outlined a plan to grow the university’s enrollment by 2,000 students.

UB enrolled 4,404 undergraduate first-time students this fall, up from 4,299 last year. The university also saw an increase in enrollment among Asians, underrepresented minorities and continuing or returning graduate students.

“Though the pandemic has been very challenging for all institutions and has impacted UB’s enrollment of international students, UB’s robust overall enrollment can also be seen as an indication that students and families have confidence in UB’s plans and guidelines to keep the UB community and campus safe,” DellaContrada said.

Additional information about fall 2020 enrollment:

  • UB hosted more than 20,000 undergraduate students for the fifth consecutive year. At 22,070 undergrads, the university set an all-time record this fall.
  • UB’s transfer population declined for the third straight year, to 1,709.
  • Mirroring broader trends, UB hosted more Asians (4,383), underrepresented minorities (5,470) and whites (15,337) this fall than at any other point in its history.

UB ranked No. 79 nationally in the U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges rankings last September, up 10 places from the previous year. The 2019 ranking was UB’s all-time highest mark and capped a dramatic, 12-year ascent on the coveted list.

The university fell nine spots in this year’s ranking to No. 88, which could have an effect on the upcoming class.

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UB’s record enrollment figures have coincided with historic athletic success, including the first football bowl game win in program history and multiple trips to the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball postseason tournaments.

But it hasn’t all been rosy.

Among U.S. institutions hosting international students, UB fell from No. 23 — with 7,121 international students in 2019 — to No. 27 — with 6,773 international students in 2020 — signaling the first time the university dropped out of the top-25 in 17 years.

John Wood, interim vice provost for international education, said the university foresaw the decrease in international students because of recent unfavorable federal policies and a decline in new graduate students.

“The small decline in international enrollment in fall 2019 was anticipated and can be attributed to a smaller number of new international graduate students,” Wood said. “Nationally, new international enrollment in the U.S. had been declining for several years before the pandemic. It is a concern since international students are an important part of UB’s overall enrollment, contributing to many programs, particularly at the graduate level.”

Justin Weiss is the senior features editor and can be reached at 


Justin Weiss is the The Spectrum's managing editor. In his free time, he can be found hiking, playing baseball or throwing things at his TV when his sports teams aren't winning. His words have appeared in Elite Sports New York and the Long Island Herald. He can be found on Twitter @Jwmlb1.



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