UAH bashes benchmarks

UAH's record-breaking Fall 2016 freshman class is welcomed to campus.

Michael Mercier | UAH

The University of Alabama in Huntsville continues to make great advances across many crucial higher education benchmarks with Fall 2016 enrollment data.

For the second year in a row, UAH is reporting record total enrollment, the largest freshman class in history and, at the same time, this incoming freshmen class also had the highest average ACT score in the school’s history, 27.6.

Bar chart comparing UAH’s freshmen enrollment for Fall 2016 (1,216), Fall 2015 (1,037), and Fall 2014 (714)

UAH 2016 Freshman Enrollment

Record total enrollment

Total enrollment after the 10th day of class was 8,468 students, an increase of 602, a growth rate of 7.7 percent when compared to Fall 2015 enrollment of 7,866.

Largest freshman class

The freshman class contains 1,216 students, a healthy increase of 17.3 percent when compared to the same numbers last year.

Highest ACT test average

This incoming freshman class scored an average of 27.6 on their ACT, up from 27.2 a year ago.

Best ever retention rate

The highest retention rate in UAH’s history was recorded for 2015-2016 at 82.6 percent.

UAH is a destination of choice for ambitious students, said UAH President Robert Altenkirch. We’re pleased this freshman class has demonstrated their trust in UAH to provide them with an education that will deliver great value to them for the rest of their lives.

Numerous sources cite UAH graduates as being the best paid among Alabama universities as well as high marks nationally:

  • The Brookings Institution stated that UAH graduates earn the highest average salaries of Alabama institutions and among the top 2 percent in the nation.
  • The U.S. Department of Education’s “College Scorecard” ranked UAH graduates first among Alabama universities for median income 10 years after graduation.
  •, which said UAH graduates have the best starting salaries when compared to any university in Alabama.
  • reported UAH offers one of the highest returns on tuition investment in the southeastern U.S. and top 8 percent nationally.

It’s becoming increasingly important that students view their choice for college as an investment. UAH students are very well prepared upon graduation and are highly qualified to enter the workforce, said Altenkirch.

UAH is also recognized for its academic quality and research opportunities for its students. The campus is considered very competitive by the Barron’s Profiles of American Colleges, one of only two public universities in Alabama with that distinction. UAH is also classified as a high research institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

The university is consistently listed among national Tier 1 universities by U.S. News & World Report, including the 103rd best public university in the United States in 2015.


Ray Garner