Through this correspondence, I am sharing summary information that provides a comparison between the current fall enrollment and that for the prior year. In terms of communication with the broader community, Nicholls is conveying a very positive message regarding that enrollment. The overall enrollment is down 13 or 0.19 percent. As we had projected a 100 student decline in the third year of transition to selective admissions, we do feel that the University has turned the corner so to speak. Additionally, the first-time freshman figure has increased by 7.6 percent, from 1,117 to 1,202.
The most significant success story and the real reason I am writing you involves the continued growth in the quality of the entering student body. First-time freshmen had an average ACT score of 21.20, the highest in Nicholls history. That figure exceeds the state average and is equal to the national average for the same period. While the number
of first-time African American students is down by 2, the average ACT for that cohort is up an impressive 0.82 percent, to 19.1. Over 70% of our first-time freshmen have an ACT of 20 or higher compared to 66% last year.
The trend for more students to quality for TOPS continues with a 13.7 percent increase this year; that is, of first-time entering freshmen, 639 were eligible for TOPS compared to 562 in Fall 2006. Finally, our second-year retention rate is at a new high of 64.8% (and we are working toward our goal of 75%).
>From the above data, it is clear that Nicholls is continuing to mature as a selective admissions institution. With the designation of Nicholls as a Four-Year IV institution this winter by the Southern Association, the University will enter another phase of its development, in which we will continue to see further improvement in student quality, progress to degree and rate of graduation. Clearly, Nicholls is becoming a university of choice instead of one of convenience!