Enrollment numbers for fall show slight dip

Total enrollment at UNL is 24,207 for fall 2012, according to the Office of Institutional Research and Planning. This is a decrease of 1.6 percent compared to fall 2011.

Colleges seeing the highest undergraduate enrollment growth are Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources: 3.7 percent; Business Administration: 4.5 percent; and Journalism and Mass Communications: 3.8 percent. Largest increases in numbers of graduate students are Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts, 26.8 percent; and in professional programs, doctor of plant health, 22.2 percent increase; and doctor of audiology, 8 percent increase.

First-time, full-time freshmen decreased by 156 students compared to fall 2011, at 3,937 students. First-time transfer students decreased by two, to 1,031.

UNL awarded a record 5,139 degrees in 2011-2012, including 3,719 bachelor's degrees.

"We graduated the largest class in the history of the university last May, and we may be seeing the impact of the 120 credit-hour limit on degrees on getting students out more quickly," UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman said. "We continue to believe we are poised for significant enrollment growth in the next few years."

UNL's colleges in recent years began decreasing the number of hours required for graduation and in 2011 the Board of Regents implemented a policy standardizing NU bachelor's degrees at 120 credit hours. This is an effort to ensure students graduate in four years if they take class loads of at least 15 credit hours per semester for eight semesters.

Perlman said UNL enrollment increased in a year-to-year comparison in numbers of students from outside Nebraska, including a large increase in international students.

The data comes from registrations on the sixth day of class. These numbers are part of a systemwide announcement Aug. 31 from the University of Nebraska central administration.

- Kelly Bartling