New freshmen, graduate students boost Nicholls enrollment

THIBODAUX, La. – Nicholls State University welcomed 6,366 students to campus for the fall 2017 semester, an increase of 99 students or 1.6 percent over last year.

This marks the second consecutive year enrollment has grown at Nicholls, which is up 3.4 percent since Fall 2015.

Keying that growth is the largest incoming freshman class since 2013. The 1,222 freshmen make up a 7.4 percent increase from last year.

The incoming freshmen class is also one of the best-prepared in university history with an average ACT score of 22.2, the second-highest ever at Nicholls.

“This is a testament to the hard work of our faculty and staff in recruiting.  Their efforts motivated students to our campus,” Nicholls President, Dr. Bruce Murphy said. “Applications and campus visits are on the rise and with programs like Tour Tuesday presented by Entergy we expect this number to continue to increase year after year.”

Freshman retention rates continue to be among the best ever with 69 percent of last year’s freshman class returning to campus.

“We are pleased that first-year retention continues to remain high at historic levels,” said Dr. Lynn Gillette, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “There has been a campus-wide effort focusing on retention including intensive student advising, redesign in the teaching of our first-year students, enhanced academic support services, and the involvement of our entire campus community in meeting the needs of our students.”

Also contributing to the growth is a large enrollment increase in the graduate studies program. Through intensified recruitment efforts, the number of new students enrolled in graduate programs grew 23 percent, bringing total graduate enrollment up to 649.

Nicholls Online, the university’s online program for non-traditional students, saw a 10 percent increase from 398 students to 437 students, the largest enrollment since the program began. This growth comes on the heels of multiple national rankings placing the program as one of the most affordable online programs in the country.

Nursing, Nicholls’ most popular major, saw the third-largest jump in enrollment, after announcing they were expanding the program this summer.

“Continued enrollment growth shows that Nicholls is providing a high-quality education at an affordable price to serve the bayou region,” Dr. Murphy, said. “A larger freshman class, more graduate students and strong retention rates are indicators of long-term enrollment growth. There’s still plenty of work to do but we’re well on our way to our vision of being the intellectual, economic and cultural heart of the Bayou region. Our faculty, staff and community support has never been higher.”


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