CLARKSVILLE (KFSM) -- As you walk on to the campus of The University of the Ozarks this year, you'll find quite a few more students. The university has reached the largest enrollment in school history with 773 students.
"It's a number, so you don't think about it," student Bekah Moore. "On move-in day, whenever we had those kids coming in and all the stuff they brought in, you really start to realize it. There's that homey feeling that you walk on this campus and you feel [like] this could be my home."
The university credits recruitment to the increase in growth along with students' access to local mountains and waters among other sites. President Richard Dunsworth said focusing on the needs of the students has also been key.
"The growth is also because we held tuition for going on five years and we're very mindful of the mix of students that choose to come here," Dunsworth said. "Half of our students are first generation. They've come from some challenging economic backgrounds and we get to serve them and give them a chance to do things maybe they didn't even think they could do."
The University of the Ozarks is more than meets the eye and students said that's what lead them to this campus.
"We have a smaller campus, but when you take the time to explore what it does offer," Moore said. "You're going to get a lot more than other universities offer, so don't be too quick to judge."
As for the future, the university will continue to grow, but also keep providing student with that feeling of home.
"We'll allow ourselves to continue to grow, but at the point we can't deliver that quality of education, that personalized education, we'll stop growing," Dunsworth said.
Students agree and hope the tight-knit feeling of the Ozarks will draw even more students to campus.
"We can use that to establish and build more resources and a better environment for students, while still keeping that intimacy that makes Ozarks such a special place,"student Jake Sawyer said.
The students at the University of the Ozarks represent 24 different countries and 31 states.
The official enrollment numbers for the semester will be released by the Arkansas Department of Education after the tenth day of classes.
For more information about the University of the Ozarks, click here.