BATON ROUGE, LA (FOX44) — After years of a shrinking student body, Southern University has something to brag about this semester.
This year, the university has seen a thirty percent increase in freshmen and even an uptick in overall enrollment.
This is huge news for the university, even though it might be a small gain, the increase from last fall of about 743 freshmen to this semester about 1,115, means a lot.
Chancellor James Llorens says this means they are finally doing something right and the students agree.
“If it keeps going the way it is than southern has a bright future," noted Southern student, Brandon Smith.
Brandon Smith is excited Southern is finally seeing a boost in enrollment and he can’t wait to see what the future holds.
"Last year there wasn’t as many kids as there is now,” noted Smith. “There is a lot of people on campus but its interesting though I like it, there is more things to do now."
This surge in interest didn't just happen, staff at Southern have worked hard to try and turn things around for the school.
"We brought on students student ambassadors, we used text messages and made an effort in the spring into the summer that we are in fact interested in them and they had choices," said Southern Chancellor, James Llorens.
The recruiting efforts in other states, mainly Texas, have proven to be successful. Southern says if they didn't start seeing an increase soon, things weren’t looking good.
"When you face budget reductions and enrollment reductions it’s a double whammy for you in terms of to meet your needs," noted Llorens.
Freshmen even see that the schools making moves and couldn't be happier. The veterans say it's a special place and now people are finally starting to see why.
"It's great that were going up,” said Junior, Isadore Lanore. “It's a very good school were very home like it’s a very close environment, we learn great stuff. So I am happy that more freshmen are starting to see and hopefully we improve each year."
So now a school that has been struggling to grow is finally showing that they are attractive to students and are ready to move past their hurdles.
"It's competitive environment for college education, students have choices and now we’ve demonstrated that we can compete," stated Llorens.
Southern is currently doing a review of where all the new students geographically are from. Saturday is their first home game and they expect one of the biggest turn outs they've ever had, especially with the new large freshmen class.