UNO sees largest increase in undergraduate students in 8 years

By Wilborn P. Nobles III

Source: | The Times-Picayune

September 7, 2017

University of New Orleans president John Nicklow said he was “very optimistic about our future” Tuesday (Sept. 5), as the university announced that it experienced the largest percentage increase in undergraduate students since 2009.

A UNO news release stated the campus saw a nearly one percent increase in undergraduate students, from 6,442 in 2016 to 6,484 this year. Likewise, UNO experienced a 15 percent increase in enrollment of both new freshmen and new graduate students in 2017. Nicklow added UNO is already seeing “several hundred applications” for the fall 2018 semester.

UNO’s total 2017 enrollment is 7,976 compared to 8,037 in the fall of 2016. In a released statement, Nicklow credited the increases to new leadership in enrollment services, as well as “new tactics” in how and when the university communicates with prospective students and their parents. He also drew attention to a new brand messaging and enrollment marketing campaign that “is already paying dividends.”

“These enrollment figures indicate strong progress in reversing a far too long history of declines; it means we are nearly stabilized and poised for future growth,” Nicklow stated. “I am so proud of our faculty and staff who have worked diligently to improve our recruitment and retention efforts.”

The university also released the following highlights of the fall enrollment figures:

  • There are 949 newly enrolled freshmen students who have an average ACT of 23 and high school GPA of 3.1. They are from 32 Louisiana parishes, 27 states and 16 countries.
  • Out-of-state undergraduate students are up seven percent at 590 in 2017, compared to 551 in 2016.
  • Freshmen applications increased 16 percent in 2017 compared to 2016.

Nicklow stated enrollment turnaround is a “multi-year challenge.” He stressed the increases in “key areas and programs” were necessary to create and sustain long-term enrollment growth without sacrificing “quality.”

Nicklow was selected as UNO’s president last year in March when the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors chose him 10-6, just one vote more than the nine he needed, over former Deputy New Orleans Mayor Andy Kopplin. Last July, Nicklow told an audience at a Bureau of Governmental Research breakfast that he wants 12,000 students at UNO in five years.

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