Huskers celebrate all-time enrollment record for third straight year

Huskers celebrate all-time enrollment record for third straight year

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Craig Chandler | University Communication
Nebraska's fall 2017 enrollment is 26,079 -- an all-time record for the third consecutive year.

For the third consecutive year, enrollment at the state’s flagship university has reached a new all-time high.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln announced that fall 2017 enrollment reached 26,079 students, exceeding the previous enrollment record of 25,897 that was set last year. The 1 percent increase from 2016 is the fifth straight year of enrollment growth at Nebraska. The university also has the most diverse student body in its history this autumn.

“Our superior programs, exceptional faculty and proven ability to prepare our graduates for success continues to power our unprecedented growth,” Chancellor Ronnie Green said. “I have often said that our university is the DNA of the state and an increasingly essential gateway to a more successful, more prosperous Nebraska. When there is positive enrollment news for the university, it is also positive news for our state.”

The largest incoming freshman class in the university’s history drove the record enrollment. There are 4,905 first-time freshmen at Nebraska this fall, surpassing last year’s entering class of 4,860.

Colleges leading in enrollment growth included the College of Business, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the College of Engineering. The College of Architecture and the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts also saw enrollment growth.

In the past decade, the university’s overall enrollment has increased by 11 percent.

“As we grow, there has never been a more exciting time to be a Husker, but this isn’t about numbers,” said Amber Williams, Nebraska’s assistant vice chancellor for academic services and enrollment management. “By combining the right student support services with our committed faculty, we are able to give even more students the opportunity to collaborate with peers and professors to prepare for a great career or advanced study.”

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Members of Nebraska's 2017 freshman class form the traditional 'N' at Memorial Stadium in August. At 4,905 students, this year's freshman class is the largest ever in the university's history.

Other highlights from the official 2017 census:

  • In addition to its large size, Nebraska’s new first-year class maintains a strong academic profile. Its average ACT score was 25.2, just shy of the all-time high of 25.4 in 2014.

  • Enrollment of 3,173 minority undergraduate students – 15.1 percent of the undergraduate total – is an increase of 193 from 2016 and makes this fall’s undergraduate student body the most diverse in the university’s history.

  • In-state enrollment remains strong. Nebraska-resident students at all levels number 17,597.

  • Overall, nonresident enrollments increased by 351 students, or 4.3 percent. Nonresident students now account for 32.7 percent of all students. The university welcomed 2,889 international students, an increase of 102 from last year.

  • Graduate enrollment climbed from 4,567 in 2016 to 4,606 this year. The College of Journalism and Mass Communications and the College of Business both saw double-digit percentage increases in graduate students.

“Our continued growth is product of two important commitments: affordability and strong academic reputation,” said Abby Freeman, director of admissions at Nebraska. “With among the lowest tuition in the Big Ten and strong financial aid programs, our students are able to access a world-class education at a phenomenal value.”

The fall semester registrations are reported annually to the provost of the University of Nebraska system, based on six-day census figures.