The University of North Alabama set record numbers in retention rates and fundraising

The University of North Alabama is having a record setting year.
Published: Oct. 25, 2023 at 6:15 PM CDT
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FLORENCE, Ala. (WAFF) -The University of North Alabama is having a record setting year.

The university has seen higher enrollment numbers within the last few years in their freshmen class. On top of that, a number of those freshmen are coming back to finish their degrees. UNA has an 80 percent retention rate. UNA spokesperson Michelle Eubanks says the surrounding peer institutions average about 70 percent.

“Freshmen retention tells us that our students are finding what they want here and wanting to return,” Eubanks said. “So right now we want to make sure that we are providing options for them: hang out options, dining options, opportunities to get involved. Community service is very important to today’s students. So we want to make sure they have opportunities to do that and be fulfilled.”

The university also met and far exceeded their fundraising goal for the 2023 fiscal year. This is the second year in a row this had been done. UNA raised around $33 million this year. The money will go toward several projects like the Bank Independent Stadium and a new music center. School officials said it will also be used for scholarships. Vice president of advancement Kevin Haslam said the whole point of raising money is to touch lives and make an impact on every person in the community.

“It’s not just the scholarship and that person,” Haslam explained. “Yeah you’ve touched that life. You’ve touched that entire family. Here’s the other thing you’ve touched though. You have touched every single person that that person will then go on and impact throughout their career. How do you measure that? How do you measure the significance and impact of that?”

Haslam said people from all over the world have donated in order to make this happen. He also said he tries to focus on what the person wants to help with and then proceeds to set up a fund for that if there already is not one. For example, Haslam said somebody who has come to see the lions since he was a child still to this day donates money towards the Lion habitat and Leo.

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