The enrollment at the University of Nebraska saw little change from last year.
A total of 50,180 students are enrolled on the four campuses plus the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture. That figure represents a 0.4 percent decrease compared to fall 2011.
“We’ve set ambitious goals to grow enrollment by 5,000 students at both UNL and UNO over the next several years,” NU President James B. Milliken said. “We know those goals are challenging – but I am convinced that significant growth is right for the University of Nebraska and right for the state. With that in mind, we must maintain our focus on attracting and retaining more talent for Nebraska.”
It's the 7th year in a row UNO has seen an increase in students.
UNO Chancellor John Christensen said he sees this year’s numbers as encouraging. The campus goal is to reach 20,000 students enrolled by 2020.
“The progress we’ve made with enrollment management is important for all of our colleges and university units,” Christensen said. “While I’m pleased with our increase this year, we know we have further work to do to set the stage for continued growth. UNO’s growth is not just about getting to a certain number, but about serving students and our metropolitan community.”
Undergraduate enrollment across the university – a key metric – remained essentially unchanged this year, at 38,075. Graduate enrollment decreased, while professional enrollment grew.
Going forward, the university must work harder to attract both resident and non-resident students, Milliken said. Given that Nebraska is experiencing flat to declining numbers of high school graduates, the state needs to grow its college-going rate – particularly among historically underrepresented student populations, such as first-generation, low-income and minority students.
Initiatives such as Collegebound Nebraska, the tuition assistance program that guarantees that qualifying Nebraska students can attend the university and pay no tuition, and UNL and UNK high school academies that provide students in Omaha, Grand Island, Kearney, Lexington and North Platte an opportunity to receive full scholarships to the university, are helping to address this need.
The university also must attract many more students from other states and countries, Milliken said. NU’s growth goals include, for example, doubling its international enrollment. Growth among online learners is also key.
The university’s distance education initiative, Online Worldwide, now offers more than 130 degree, certificate and endorsement programs and is an excellent solution for students in Nebraska and elsewhere who are looking for a high-quality, flexible education in order to acquire new skills or complete their degrees.
Milliken noted that a new report from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce found that college graduates have led the national job growth recovery since the recession began.
Campus enrollment totals:
University of Nebraska-Lincoln: 24,207 (1.6 percent decrease)
University of Nebraska at Omaha: 14,788 (0.5 percent increase)
University of Nebraska at Kearney: 7,199 (1.4 percent increase)
University of Nebraska Medical Center: 3,655 (0.8 percent increase)
University-wide enrollment totals:
Undergraduate students: 38,075 (0.1 percent decrease)
First-time freshmen: 6,837 (1.7 percent decrease)
Graduate students: 9,222 (3.2 percent decrease)
Professional students: 2,883 (5.3 percent increase)
Total enrollment including NCTA: 50,180 (0.4 percent decrease)
Total enrollment not including NCTA: 49,849 (0.4 percent decrease)
A chart containing a summary of enrollment data is attached. Figures are based on a student census taken on the sixth day of classes. Final and more complete enrollment statistics, including those for out-of-state, international and minority students, will be available later in the fall.
At UNO, new transfer student numbers, both undergraduate and graduate, also increased. Undergraduate transfers stood at 1,188, a gain of 9.5 percent; graduate transfers are 680, a gain of four percent.
Now in it’s fifth year, the Metropolitan Advantage Program (MAP) saw significant growth. MAP offers residents or high school graduates of specific counties in southwestern Iowa the opportunity to attend UNO undergraduate and graduate programs at areduced outstate tuition rate. Undergraduate MAP student numbers jumped more than 11 percent to 458. MAP expanded its reach from three Iowa counties to eleven counties beginning with this academic year.
Another significant pair of growth areas at UNO were international students and minority students. Undergraduate international student numbers went up nearly 19 percent to 422 while undergraduate minority students gained more than 12 percent to 2,333.