UPIKE celebrates record enrollment and retention

With many national publications predicting a dip in enrollment for higher education, the University of Pikeville (UPIKE) recently welcomed its largest class in the school’s history. For the fall semester, 2,645 students began their academic journey on ‘the hill,’ with 1,110 of those making up the undergraduate population. Of the 1,110 undergraduate students, 450 are embarking on their first year, which is an impressive 40% increase from the previous year.   

In addition to the record-breaking numbers of undergraduate students, the university’s graduate and doctoral programs also saw their largest number of enrolled students, with a total of 940. 

“UPIKE began in 1889 in pursuit of bringing higher education to Appalachia, and today, we are continuing to meet that mission,” said Dean of Admissions Gary Justice. “No college or university is ‘one size-fits-all.’ Our recruiting philosophy is to help students and families see if the University of Pikeville is the right fit for them. Exciting things are happening on the hill and it is truly a great time to be a Bear!”

While welcoming a record number of students is exciting, UPIKE’s focus remains on making sure students thrive and complete their degrees. From free textbooks for all students to competitive scholarships like the Pikeville Promise that could cover a student’s full tuition and room and board, the university has remained true to its mission of eliminating barriers for students. As a result, first- to second-year retention at the university is at an all-time high of 67.8%. 

“We are so pleased with the retention efforts at UPIKE,” said Provost Lori Werth, Ph.D. “Our faculty, staff and coaches have worked collaboratively related to student success and academic excellence. At the University of Pikeville, our students and their families are vital to overall strategic efforts.”

UPIKE has no intentions of slowing down its growth. The university recently announced its single largest gift for a new dental program and the agreement to purchase a new property called Bear Mountain to house new athletics facilities.

“Everything we do is all about building the region by investing in our people,” said UPIKE President Burton Webb, Ph.D. “We believe that Eastern Kentucky is full of gifted people who need a place to learn and live. UPIKE has been here for 133 years, that is four to six generations, depending on how you count. We are here because this is home. Let’s build our home together.”

For more information about UPIKE, email wewantyou@upike.edu or call 606-218-5251.