Nicholls Updates Fall Enrollment Statistics

THIBODAUX – After discussions with the Louisiana Board of Regents, Nicholls State University has revised enrollment numbers for the fall 2007 semester. The difference involves reporting of special or exceptional sessions, sessions that are not part of the regular session because of variations in the length of the session or the tuition for the session.

During fall 2006 and fall 2007, Nicholls conducted special sessions for students who were dual-enrolled, meaning those students were earning high school and college credit at the same time. The Board of Regents has deemed that those students should be counted in the university’s overall enrollment numbers. Therefore, the enrollment numbers for fall 2006 and fall 2007 have been updated to reflect those changes.

Official Nicholls fall enrollment statistics show “we have turned the corner” since becoming a selective admissions institution because the enrollment has increased slightly and ACT scores continue to rise, President Stephen Hulbert said. The fall 2007 enrollment totals 6,882 compared to 6,832 a year ago, an increase of 50. The number of first-time freshmen has risen from 1,117 to 1,202, a 7.6 percent increase. The most notable change when analyzing this semester’s enrollment is the higher quality of first-time freshmen enrolling at the university, Hulbert said. The average ACT score of entering freshmen at Nicholls hit an all-time high, 21.20. According to ACT, the average ACT at Nicholls exceeds the state average and is equal to the national average.

Hulbert also noted the continuing trend for more and more students to qualify for the Tuition Opportunity Plan for Students (TOPS) awards. TOPS requires students to take a college preparatory core curriculum in high school and meet certain standards, making them more prepared for college.

Students receiving TOPS awards rose to 1,800 from 1,755 a year ago. The number of first-time entering freshmen receiving TOPS awards rose from 562 to 639, an increase of 13.7 percent. A total of 53.2 percent of the freshman class is currently receiving TOPS. “This is a testament to the quality of the entering class,” Hulbert said. Statistics show Nicholls is retaining more freshmen than in the past. First-year students from last year have returned to Nicholls for their second year at a rate of 64.8 percent. Retention rate of last fall’s entering TOPS recipients rose to 76 percent.

“The quality of the incoming class is a result of the efforts made in the local school districts,” Hulbert said. “Students understand earlier in their high school careers what is needed to be successful in college and are taking the proper preparatory courses under the direction of their parents and the school systems. Because of these efforts and the efforts of the faculty and staff at Nicholls, Nicholls State University is indeed meeting