NU enrollment numbers decrease despite opportunities for growth


Grant Rohan

People walking at the University of Nebraska at Omaha campus.
Photo courtesy of UNO communications.

The University of Nebraska will continue working to support its missions of access to education for all and creating a diverse student body, even as enrollment for 2019 slightly decreased across the board this fall, according to figures announced by Interim President Suzan Fritz.

With large graduating classes in 2019, enrollment decreased slightly by 1.4% from last academic year’s total of 51,885 students to 51,150 students as of now. Even with the slight dip in enrollment numbers, this marks the ninth straight year that NU enrollment has exceeded more than 50,000 students.

“Certainly growth is always the goal, and we need to think creatively and aggressively about how we can expand access to even more Nebraskans and attract more talent to our state,” Fritz said. “We recognize that the state’s workforce needs are urgent and that the University of Nebraska has a vital role to play.”

“The chancellors, Board of Regents and I are unified in our commitment not only to growth, but to ensuring that every student can graduate on time, enter the workforce and contribute to a prosperous future for Nebraska,” Fritz said.

Part of the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s (UNO) strategy for students to graduate on time and join the workforce is aided by programs such as the Completion Imperative. Aiming to help every student obtain a degree, the initiative is aided by learning communities, creation of scholarships and expanding the number of UNO’s courses to be taken either online or partially online.

Despite the slight decline, there are plenty of positives in NU’s fall enrollment numbers.

● UNMC celebrates its 19th straight year of record-high enrollment, with growth primarily in the Nursing program, an absolute necessity for Nebraska’s workforce.
● The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) freshman class recorded the highest average ACT score at 25.5.
● UNL’s freshman class is its most diverse class yet, with 18% from minority backgrounds. UNO continues to grow more diverse each year, with 40% of the incoming student body coming to campus as first-generation college students.
● The number of transfer students has increased, for example at the University of Nebraska-Kearney (UNK) enrollment of undergraduate transfer students has increased by 18%.

Sarah Fixmer, a Journalism and Media Communication major, transferred to UNO from Midland University two years ago, and has shown that there are ways for transfer students to feel at home on campus at UNO.

“The best thing about UNO is the amount of student clubs and organizations they have. It was really easy to find an organization I wanted to be a part of and join it, and it’s helped me so much,” Fixmer said. “And, honestly, my transfer process was really easy.”

Fixmer is just one of the 15,153 Mavericks willing to contribute to the “prosperous future” that Susan Fritz and other NU system leaders are looking forward to.