Spring enrollment stats at Nicholls reflect strength, change

THIBODAUX – Official enrollment statistics for the spring 2011 semester at Nicholls State University indicate growth in several key areas:

  • Since last spring, enrollment in the Department of Physical Sciences and Department of Languages and Literature increased by 17.9 percent and 7.7 percent, respectively.
  • Graduate programs in the College of Business Administration enjoyed an enrollment boost of 15.4 percent.
  • Enrollment of first-time freshman students increased by 8.1 percent.
  • Retention of African-American first-time freshman students grew to 88.94 percent, exceeding the overall retention rate of 85.55 percent.
  • The number of valedictorian scholarship students in the returning freshman class jumped from 24 to 29.
  • The average course load among graduate students increased by 4.6 percent to 6.19 credit hours.
  • Enrollment of continuing students, those returning after the fall 2010 semester, grew to 83.6 percent – a 1.2-percent boost compared to last spring.

Although enrollment at Nicholls decreased by 1.7 percent, from 6,495 to 6,385, administrators say the figure matches projections.

“The difference is not out of line with what we expected,” Dr. Eugene Dial, vice president of student affairs and enrollment services, said. “The primary reason for the decline in enrollment is that better-prepared students are graduating faster, as evidenced by the record number of graduates over the past two years. With such figures, combined with enhanced admissions standards, reduced participation by area schools in the dual enrollment program, and the impact of state-mandated budget cuts to higher education, the current enrollment statistics at Nicholls actually reveal a remarkably healthy institution. It is also important to remember that some of our students’ families work in the petro and seafood industries, as well as those that service these industries. The BP oil incident no doubt has affected overall enrollment, including the shift from full-time to part-time status for some of our students.”

For additional information, go to www.nicholls.edu/ir/.