FLORENCE, Ala. – The University of North Alabama is expecting to break an all-time record this fall. Over the last five years, enrollment has continued to climb.

Students are once again walking through campus at the University of North Alabama. Classes began on Wednesday with a noticeably larger number of students.

“We are trending very positively with our enrollment, and we will definitely be in record territory,” UNA Provost Ross Alexander explained.

Alexander says although the official census will be conducted on October 31st, they are closing in on 8,000 students.

Sarah McAlpin says UNA was the best fit for her college career. “It has lots of good programs. So, there was no point of me moving off to another college when I have a really good college in my town.”

The groups seeing the largest increase are incoming freshmen, international students, and online graduate students. Next to northwest Alabama, Huntsville/Madison County is the largest feeder area for UNA.

“You don’t really have any big classes. It’s like they know your name, and that is really important like when choosing a college. You want them to know your name; you don’t want to be just a number or face,” said UNA junior Joshua Draper.

UNA boasts the largest MBA program in the state, attracting more than 850 online students from well outside the region. University leaders say the growth is a sure sign they are healthy, vibrant, and evolving.

According to University of North Alabama statistics, 85% of their student body comes from Alabama. 75% of all graduates from UNA stay in Alabama to work and live.