University of Nebraska enrollment remains flat

Only two out of the five campuses from the University of Nebraska System saw an increase in enrollment for this fall
Published: Sep. 6, 2023 at 4:49 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Only two out of the five campuses from the University of Nebraska System saw an increase in enrollment for this fall, according to a new census figures released on Wednesday.

President Ted Carter announced enrollment within the NU System was holding steady at 49,419 for fall 2023, a 0.3% decline or -148 students compared to fall 2022 enrollment. This fall, only the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture saw an increase.

The new census figures released aligned with the 2023-24 operating budget approved in June by the Board of Regents, which assumed flat enrollment, according to the NU System.

Campus enrollment totals:

  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln: 23,600 (0.9% decrease)
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha: 15,015 (0.3% decrease)
  • University of Nebraska at Kearney: 6,017 (0.4% decrease)
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center: 4,555 (3.4% increase)
  • Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture: 232 (7.2% increase)

Carter said he was pleased to see enrollment stabilize after two years of declines.

“A strong, growing State of Nebraska is directly linked to a strong, growing University of Nebraska,” Carter said. “While our university is not immune to demographic realities and other challenges facing all of higher education, the needs of our workforce and state are too important for us not to be completely focused on attracting, retaining and graduating as many students as possible.

Carter credited campus teams for their work in engaging prospective students and added that student recruitment and retention will continue to be an “all-hands-on-deck” effort across the university system.

“I am cautiously optimistic that we have turned a corner. As our Five-Point Plan for elevating the University of Nebraska’s competitiveness and success makes clear, student recruitment is at the top of our priority list. We will continue to be creative and aggressive in building new strategies for making certain all students know there is a place for them at the University of Nebraska,” Carter said.

Despite the decrease in enrollment numbers, system-wide enrollments of graduate and professional students both saw more than a 2% increase.

Overall credit hours were also up by 0.3% and the number of full-time students grew by 0.2%. Enrollments in high-demand workforce areas, including engineering and agriculture at UNL, information science and technology at UNO, and health science and business and technology at UNK, were also seeing positive growth trends.