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Nicholls reports enrollment boosts

THIBODAUX – Despite the difficulties caused by the recent hurricanes, Nicholls State University recorded an enrollment increase again this fall.

The current enrollment of 6,926 tops the fall 2007 figure by 44 students, with 2008 marking the second consecutive year of increases in both total freshman students and first-time freshman students – 183 and 61, respectively. Moreover, the number of full-time enrollees increased to 5,172, a 2.2 percent jump.

“I am quite pleased with this growth in the wake of Gustav and Ike,” said Dr. Stephen T. Hulbert, university president. “Nicholls strives to recruit the better prepared students, not only in the Bayou Region, but throughout Louisiana and beyond. I commend our regional K-12 schools for their success in preparing students for college.”

Such academic excellence is reflected in the current enrollment statistics. One out of four entering freshmen scored a 24 or better on the ACT test, with the overall ACT score for first-time freshmen increasing by 0.31 points to 21.51 – exceeding state and national averages. In addition, the total number of first-time freshmen receiving Taylor Opportunity Plan for Students (TOPS) awards increased to 57.1 percent of the entering class – and valedictorian scholarships increased by 30 percent.

“The new student housing at Nicholls is a major factor in drawing such highly prepared students,” said Larry Howell, associate provost. “Our new facilities, combined with the university’s multifaceted recruiting efforts, have indeed been successful in that regard.”

The geographic diversity among Nicholls enrollees also continues to improve. While most students traditionally hail from Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes, the number of enrollees from St. James, Jefferson and Assumption Parishes increased by 9.8 percent, 10.1 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively. Moreover, the total number of international students at Nicholls jumped to 148 – a 23.3 percent increase – with the total number of first-time freshman international students more than doubling.

“As we continue to grow and improve, we attract more and more high quality students from an increasingly diverse background,” Howell said. “This too is part of the university’s energetic recruitment efforts.”

Additionally, the number of high school students who have taken advantage of the Board of Regents Dual Enrollment Program has more than tripled this fall. Nearly 300 high school students from around the area are enrolled in Nicholls courses for which they will receive not only high school credit but college credit.

Other substantial enrollment boosts were reported by the John Folse Culinary Institute, Department of Teacher Education, Department of Applied Sciences and the Department of Accounting and Information Systems – with total student increases of 52, 49, 46 and 39, respectively.

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