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Released: 09/02/1999

<p> Enrollment at Louisiana State University at Alexandria (LSUA) is up for the Fall Semester according to Dr. Robert Cavanaugh, LSUA chancellor. Although official numbers will not be available until the 14th day of classes, all indications point to an increase of approximately 2 percent. LSUA&acute;s enrollment has increased by 57 students for a total enrollment of 2,448. </p><p> Cavanaugh believes the increase in enrollment is due to two factors. "Foremost, many students are anticipating a four-year LSUA and are electing to start and finish here," he said. "Also, the addition of new associate degrees and certification in allied health fields, as well as the new paralegal studies degree, have attracted additional students." </p><p> LSUA&acute;s enrollment has been level for the past several semesters. Administrators have identified at least three factors that are curtailing major enrollment growth at LSUA. First, the Alexandria/Pineville metropolitan area has lost population since 1990 which means the pool of potential students is shrinking. </p><p> Also, the TOPS scholarship program has allowed many students the opportunity to "go away" to college rather than remaining here. TOPS has been very helpful in building enrollmentof the four-year schools with dorms, but it has had much less, if any, positive impact on the two-year schools. </p><p> Finally, the economy in Central Louisiana is very strong. Employment opportunities are good, and this means that many potential LSUA students are electing to work rather than attend college. </p>