Spring enrollment up, retention at all-time high

THIBODAUX — This spring, Nicholls State University has posted an enrollment increase for the first time in five years as the university’s freshman retention rate reaches an all-time high.

Total Nicholls enrollment is up 20 students from last spring, according to 14th class day statistics. In addition, fall to spring first-time freshman retention is 88.28 percent, up 4.9 percentage points from 2015.

The record-setting retention rate along with successful recruiting efforts indicate that Nicholls is likely to see another enrollment increase in the fall. Applications for fall 2016 are up 15 percent (more than 300 students) from this time last year, and the university has offered a record number of scholarships to eligible applicants.

“Growing enrollment to 8,000 students remains one of our top goals at Nicholls. This semester’s increases in both enrollment and freshman retention are strong indicators that Nicholls enrollment is on an upward trend,” said Nicholls President Dr. Bruce Murphy. “From department heads and faculty to the support staff and facilities crew, our entire campus is working together to welcome students to the Colonel family and put their success first.”

Over the past few semesters, Nicholls faculty have created and implemented freshman-level math and English pilot courses that have led to improved pass rates and encouraged students to continue on their path to earning a degree. Math faculty, for example, have improved retention by standardizing exams, offering flexible testing hours and personally calling students with frequent absences.