Nicholls enrollment grows; student quality improves

THIBODAUX – Compared to Spring 2008, the current enrollment statistics at Nicholls State University indicate steady growth and academic progress – especially among freshmen.

Total enrollment increased by 125 students – from 6,304 to 6,429 – with freshmen accounting for 84.8 percent of the total boost and graduate student enrollment increasing by 21. In all, the number of full-time students increased by 4.6 percent, with an overall 4.3-percent increase in full-time credit hours. New-student enrollment swelled by 16 percent, and the retention rate of first-time freshmen rose to more than 86 percent.

“The increases in enrollment are especially encouraging in light of the record number of students at our Fall 2008 commencement,” Larry Howell, associate provost, said.  “This proves Nicholls is becoming the institution of choice for the best and brightest students in the Bayou Region. Valedictorian scholarships, for example, increased by 30 percent in Fall 2008 – and all of those students have been retained for the Spring 2009 semester.”

Moreover, the Early Start Program (formerly the Dual Enrollment Program), which allows high school students to enroll simultaneously in university-level courses, enjoyed a substantial increase – 29.1 percent – resulting in a total of 204 students.

Academic programs with significant enrollment boosts include the Department of Applied Sciences, the College of Arts and Sciences graduate program, the School of Fine Arts and the John Folse Culinary Institute – with increases of 25.4 percent, 22.5 percent, 17.7 percent and 13.1 percent, respectively.

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