Nicholls Fall Enrollment the Highest Since 2011

First Day Fall 2020 (Misty Leigh McElroy/Nicholls State University) 8/10/20

THIBODAUX, La. — Record retention rates and an increase in online students have pushed Nicholls State University’s Fall enrollment to its highest total in almost a decade.  

Nicholls enrolled 6,780 students, according to 14th-day class statistics, the largest since 2011. The 4 percent year-to-year increase is also the largest since 1990. 

This is a testament to the quality of a Nicholls education that enrollment would jump this much in the middle of a pandemic, said Dr. Alex Arceneaux, executive vice president for advancement and enrollment services. 

“Even during these unprecedented, challenging times, we received an overwhelming message from our student body and the Bayou Region; they want to be at Nicholls State University,” Dr. Arceneaux said. “They trust us to provide the Nicholls Experience – top-notch academics and the best student experience in the state – in a safe way. We have amazing recruiters, faculty and staff who give it their all to provide the very best for our students.” 

This is the third consecutive year of record-breaking retention rates. This Fall, 74.4 percent of first-time freshmen returned for their sophomore year. The national average is 61 percent. 

“For Nicholls State University to fulfill its mission to the community, it’s imperative that we educate, retain and graduate our students,” said Dr. Sue Westbrook, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “This takes the effort of our faculty, academic advisors and support staff, and I am proud of what they have been able to accomplish.” 

Another boon to enrollment was a 15.7 increase to Nicholls Online. In recent years, the program has expanded and is regularly recognized for its quality and affordability. 

The top degree programs are: 

  • Nursing with 921 students, 
  • Business administration and computer information systems with 733 students, 
  • Allied health with 512 students, 
  • Biological sciences with 486 students,
  • Teacher education with 436 students.

Allied Health saw one of the largest increases, with an 18 percent increase from last year. Other undergraduate departments with large enrollment growth are: 

  • Chemistry and physical sciences up 24 percent,
  • Social sciences up 19 percent, 
  • Art up 11 percent. 

To apply for Spring, Summer or Fall 2021 semesters, visit


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