GRAMBLING, LA (KSLA) - Grambling State University's fall headcount has surpassed 5,000 for the first time in four years, school officials say.
Total enrollment now stands at 5,188, meaning an increase of 7 percent over fall 2016.
A factor in the increase is 926 new freshmen, a 6.68 percent year-over-year increase.
And the number of continuing students increased by 9.5 percent this fall, school officials say.
"I am ecstatic and thrilled with these numbers," said Rick Gallot, who completed his first year as Grambling State's president Aug. 1.
Those numbers are a testament to how hard the school's admissions, recruitment and enrollment teams worked the past year to help prospective students clear get enrolled, he added.
The improvement in fall enrollment at Grambling State comes on the heels of a 5.7 percent year-over-year increase in enrollment this spring.
The spring term began with 4,596 students on campus, up from a spring 2016 enrollment of 4,349.
The last time Grambling State had an enrollment of more than 5,000 was 2013, when the student population totaled 5,071.
"We aim to get every interested student and their parent or guardian the information they need to consider our school. And we work to give them good reasons to choose to become a Tiger," said Patricia Hutcherson, Grambling State's executive director of enrollment management.
"I'm happy to say that the hard work and long hours have paid off. Now we turn our attention to retention and recruiting for the spring and fall 2018 semesters."
Earlier this year, Gallot said that the school had seen 2 percent increases in spring enrollment each year since 2014 and that he was confident Grambling State's enrollment could come closer to 5,000 students by this fall.
This fall's headcount surpassed that mark.
"These numbers prove that GSU is a viable college option," Grambling State's president said. "And we have to continue to build on the successes we've had for decades."
In the spring, Gallot also said that he is aiming for enrollment to again hit the 6,000 mark and that he knows his school can do it.
The most recent time Grambling State's enrollment topped 6,000 was in 1996, when there were 6,701 students enrolled.
The school's headcount peaked at nearly near 8,000 in the 1990s then fell by 3,133 over the course of five years.