UNC Charlotte sets historic enrollment record

UNC Charlotte sets historic enrollment record
Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte has enrolled 30,448 students for the fall 2021 semester, setting a University enrollment record for the third consecutive year. Throughout the ongoing pandemic, Charlotte experienced historic growth in graduate student enrollment, first-year students and students who identify as underrepresented minorities. 

“As we enter our 75th year, the University’s mission to provide quality educational opportunities, strengthen the Charlotte region through research and creative discovery, and lead in equity and engagement is clearly evident in our incoming class of students,” said UNC Charlotte Chancellor Sharon Gaber. “We are proud to welcome our newest group of 49ers as we continue to shape what’s next at Charlotte.”

The University’s graduate student population increased to 6,332 students - the highest number in school history and the third consecutive year of growth. The enrollment increase in master’s programs in computer science, public health, social work and data science and business analytics positions the University to stay on the leading edge of producing top talent in growing industries across the Charlotte region. 

Charlotte welcomed the largest freshman class in University history with 4,256 students, a 6.4% increase from 2020. The impressive class of first-year students arrived with an average weighted GPA of 3.95. The University Honors Program incoming class grew by more than 21%, and nearly one-third of all new undergraduate students have selected a STEM major. Additionally, UNC Charlotte remains a leader among UNC System schools in transfer student enrollment, welcoming 2,605 transfer students to campus.

“Enrollment at UNC Charlotte continues to grow along with the academic profile of our incoming students, who join us from every part of the state and beyond, as we enrolled 22% more out-of-state undergraduates than last year,” said Claire Kirby, associate provost for enrollment management and director of admissions. “As our state’s urban research university, Charlotte has the unique ability to provide students from across North Carolina with access to a quality educational experience and all the benefits of being located in a major city.”

UNC Charlotte’s efforts to provide quality and accessible higher education continue as 30% of new first-year students and 42% of new transfer students are first-generation college students. The percentage of Charlotte’s undergraduate students who identify as an underrepresented minority rose to 36%. Female students comprised 52% of all incoming freshmen. 

In an effort to combat the ongoing pandemic, Charlotte’s undergraduate admissions office shifted its efforts to a hybrid model of in-person and online engagements to best serve future students. The University offered 435 virtual visits with high schools throughout the year — a 70% increase over typical years — in addition to countless virtual fairs. On-campus visits and tours were safely offered throughout the fall and spring semesters so students and families could physically experience campus. 

SEE ALSO: UNC Charlotte recognized nationally for excellence in innovation, social mobility by U.S. News and World Report