LSU at Night

The bell tower clock stands tall Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020 from the top of the Barnes & Noble at LSU parking garage on E Campus Drive.

The University announced in September that it had broken the record for the "largest and most diverse freshmen class" for the third year in a row, and University officials say they plan to keep breaking enrollment records. 

Officials from the University’s enrollment management department are aiming to continue to increase enrollment, according to Media Relations Director Ernie Ballard.

According to the September University press release, LSU enrolled 6,690 freshmen for the fall semester despite the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to 6,126 freshmen enrolled the year before. 

“These outstanding gains speak to the great strength and reputation of LSU, and they are testament to the fantastic work of our talented faculty and staff whose dedication to student success is inspirational,” Interim President Tom Galligan said in the press release.

In fall 2019, the University accepted 75% of applicants, according to USNews, which remains consistent with numbers from previous years. Ballard said the University has no current plans to decrease its acceptance rate. 

The press release said the diversity of the 2020 freshmen class is "at an all-time high." The freshmen class is made up of 16.8% Black students and 9.1% Hispanic students. Students who identify as American Indian, Black, Asian, Native Hawaiian, Hispanic and two or more races make up more than 30% of the total freshman class this year, according to the press release.

“As Louisiana’s flagship university, diversity is fundamental to our mission and we are honored to serve a growing number of traditionally underrepresented students," Galligan said. "Our efforts to further diversify our student population will continue, while we also work on taking action to foster an even more inclusive and equitable campus environment in which every LSU student feels welcomed and valued on our campus."

While LSU flaunts its achievements, several students are concerned about the university’s ability to handle such numbers. 

Leadership and human resources junior Emily Geno said parking remains her largest concern when it comes to increasing enrollment. 

“It’s hard enough to find a parking spot on campus now as it is,” Geno said. “When LSU chooses to admit all of these students, it may sound like a great idea at first, but they need to think about these things.”

In July, the university displaced upperclassmen from on-campus housing in an effort to provide for its record-setting freshman class. 

"Of course, there was no way to predict the coronavirus, but I think LSU could do a better job of only accepting an amount of incoming students that they can provide housing for without forcing other students to relocate,” fashion merchandising junior Leila Purnell said.

Geno said she questions what will be too much for the University to handle. 

“I think it’s great that so many people are given the opportunity to attend LSU and experience all that it has to offer, but they deserve the full experience and I hope LSU is capable of delivering that to everyone,” Geno said.

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