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The University of Alabama

UA Ranks 11th in Enrollment of National Merit Scholars

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama’s vision of recruiting the “best and brightest” students is clearly becoming a reality as UA ranks 11th in the nation among public universities in the enrollment of National Merit Scholars for 2006-2007, and 29th among all universities. The rankings, based on the National Merit Scholarship Corp.’s newly-released 2005-2006 annual report, place UA among the top 8 percent nationally among colleges and universities that enrolled National Merit Scholars.

UA is also a leader in the enrollment of National Achievement Scholars, a recognition awarded to top African-American students, ranking 3rd among public universities and 13th among all universities.

“We are very pleased that these students, who could go to any university in the country, are choosing Alabama,” said UA President Robert E. Witt. “As our enrollment increases, our goal is to grow with quality. Our National Scholars, along with hundreds of other students who come to this university with top level ACT scores and grade point averages, are clear indicators that we are truly home to the best and brightest.”

UA enrolled a record 85 freshman National Merit Scholars in fall 2006. The number is higher than the figure of 82 reported by the National Merit Corp. which includes only those students who have confirmed their university of choice by May 1.

UA’s freshman class includes 18 National Achievement Scholars, a number exceeded only by the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the University of Florida. UA’s ranking is based on a total of 13, as reported to the National Merit Corp. by the May 1 deadline.

The National Merit numbers also place UA in prestigious company. Only 10 public universities enroll more National Merit Scholars and many have much larger student bodies than UA. They include the University of Florida, the University of Texas-Austin, Arizona State, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the University of Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Ohio State, Georgia Tech, the University of Arizona and Purdue. UA ranks ahead of such universities as the University of California-Berkeley, the University of Michigan and the University of Georgia.

For 2005-2006, UA ranked 13th among public universities and 31st overall in enrollment of National Merit Scholars.

UA has also attracted numerous National Hispanic Scholars; however, that program is administered through a different organization and is not part of the National Merit Corp. rankings.

Some 475 National Merit, National Hispanic and National Achievement Scholars are currently studying at UA.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.