ASU classes begin with an increased number of students from around the country, world
Walter Bonar hails from a place with a rich academic tradition.
The incoming Arizona State University freshman arrived in Tempe from North Carolina, home to well-respected state institutions and elite private schools.
And if ASU hadn’t been so attractive to him, he might have chosen to go to one.
Instead he ended up more than 2,000 miles from his home in Marvin, a town outside of Charlotte, to study aerospace engineering.
“All the programs I was interested in at ASU were better…” Bonar said. “There were more resources available [here], especially for undergraduate students.”
Bonar is among the more than 70,000 full-immersion students across ASU’s five metropolitan campuses who are packing up their laptops, gathering their books and beginning or resuming their ASU academic careers today.
And like Bonar, who now calls Barrett, The Honors College his home within ASU, those 70,000 enter the many microuniversities of learning that the university has created at the Polytechnic campus, the West campus, the Downtown Phoenix campus, the Tempe campus, and at Thunderbird School of Global Management. They're all part of ASU's educational network that's building interdisciplinary academic programs which attract students from the coast to coast and all around the globe.
One thousand more out-of-state students enrolled in ASU than last year. They total 16,000 for the 2015-2016 year.
Overall enrollment for full-immersion students jumped 3 percent over last year.
And international student enrollment increased 11.8 percent to 9,600 students compared to year ago.
Jobana Westbay is one such international student. The freshman from Yokohama, Japan, chose ASU for the opportunities available to students.
“The different organizations and other opportunities that ASU offers really drew me to this school…” she said. "ASU offers practically anything you could think of.”
In fact, there are more than 300 undergraduate academic programs and majors at the university.
ASU Online also saw a sharp increase in enrollment compared to 2014. More than 19,000 students — some six thousand more than last year — signed up for ASU’s digitally enabled degree programs, part of the University’s effort to provide accessible education to those who may not be able to attend the school in person.
Jerome Tennille, an operations management major who lives in Falls Church, Virginia, was attracted, among other things, to the flexibility of the ASU Online program.
“Being an online student has provided me every ability to continue my education,” said Tennille, who delayed college to serve in the U.S. Navy a few years after 9/11. “I would recommend it to everybody.”