Fall Enrollment At UNK Highest In Nearly A Decade

Curt Carlson
Vice Chancellor for University Relations, 308.865.8529

UNK- Fall enrollment at the University of Nebraska at Kearney is at 6,543, the highest enrollment number in nearly a decade.

The number represents a 1 percent increase over total enrollment last year, and it takes the campus to a nine-year high. Moreover, this is the fifth straight year that UNK has experienced an overall increase in headcount enrollment.

Among those areas that have seen an increase this year are first-time, full-time freshmen (up 9.4 percent, the largest annual increase since 1995), and first-time graduate students, (up 6.6 percent). There was also a sharp increase in the number of first-time non-degree seeking students (up 147.6 percent), attributable largely to international students who are participating in UNK’s English Language Institute (ELI). Overall, international students now constitute 9.2 percent of UNK’s student body.

Additionally, UNK saw minority student enrollment increase this year by almost 10 percent. Last fall, there were 344 students in this category, which includes African American, Native American, Asian or Hispanic students; this fall, there are 378.  

An increase in freshman enrollment is also reflected in the Honors Program, which has 143 freshmen this fall, compared with 135 last fall. This brings the total number of students in the Honors Program to 483.

UNK Chancellor Doug Kristensen said: “We are of course gratified that enrollment continues upward in this very competitive environment.  We have been working hard to improve our campus in every way, and the results — which are all around us — should place us in a very good position to recruit and retain students.”  

In general, overall UNK enrollment statistics reflect some of the state and national trends. Among those trends is the increased interest in online offerings. At UNK, the majority of those who take online courses are graduate students. This fall, UNK graduate headcount is up by 144 students, an 11.1 percent increase over last year. Of the total graduate student enrollment of 1,439, approximately 66 percent are enrolled exclusively in online courses. Statistics also show that more than 75 percent of UNK graduate students are taking at least one online course. More undergraduates on the campus, approximately 8 percent, are also now blending face-to-face instruction with online offerings.
UNK Senior Vice Chancellor Finnie Murray noted that this year’s result is especially welcome from the standpoint of a major strategic objective within the University of Nebraska — achieving a student body that represents the nation’s and world’s cultural diversity.  

“We have been very persistent — and successful — in seeking students both at home and abroad who enrich the learning experience for us all,” he said. “This is central to our educational mission, and it will continue to be a priority for us at UNK.”