Curt Carlson
Vice Chancellor for University Relations, 308.865.8529

University of Nebraska at Kearney Chancellor Doug Kristensen today announced that enrollment at the University of Nebraska at Kearney is the highest in 16 years.

“Not only is the upward trend continuing this year, our students are increasingly international, diverse and academically prepared,” he said.

In all, 7,199 students are enrolled at UNK this semester. This number represents the ninth consecutive year of increases, and a 1.4 percent increase over 2011. The number of first-time, full-time freshman students increased by 6 percent.

“This increase is significant considering the number of high school graduates in Nebraska is relatively stable,” said Dusty Newton, UNK director of Admissions.

Of the students enrolled this fall, 79 percent are Nebraska residents. UNK students also come from 48 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands (only Maine and Vermont are not represented). There is notable growth in the numbers of students from California, Illinois, Missouri, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming.

Further, 544 international students are enrolled at UNK, which is a 13.1 percent increase. International students now make up 10 percent of the incoming class. Those enrolled represent 58 separate countries. The Republic of South Korea has the largest delegation (175) followed by China (142) and Japan (129). Three additional countries, represented for the first time, include Austria, Guyana and Mongolia.

Chancellor Kristensen said, “Momentum continues as a result of UNK’s ongoing commitment to quality of teaching and student success.” The chancellor also credits the Enrollment Management Committee and Admissions team for continuing positive trends.

“The Enrollment Management Committee has provided a strategic framework for achieving sustainable growth, and the Admissions team and recruiters have capitalized on every available means to communicate our message to prospective students and parents,” he said, adding, “I believe UNK is securing its position among the top public regional universities in the nation.”

UNK’s student body is increasingly diverse, a continuing trend, with minority students comprising 12.9 percent of first-time freshmen. The total number of both Hispanic students and African-American students at UNK has increased 19.6 percent over last year.

Dr. Charles Bicak, senior vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs reflected on the positive trends.

“The regional, national and indeed, international reputation of UNK continues to grow,” he said. “This is consistent with our mission as a public residential university. We have a strong commitment to intellectual and cultural diversity. This is reflected in our increasing international student population, and our growing study abroad program for Nebraska and other domestic students.”

According to Dr. Bicak, the entering class is also well prepared academically. In addition to other factors, the average ACT score of entering students, 22.86, is the highest in the institution’s history.

While the total number of undergraduates increased 3.8 percent to 5,648, graduate numbers decreased by 6.5 percent to 1,551. This interrupts a seven-year unbroken trend of rapid and significant increases in graduate student enrollment.

However, reflecting the increased headcount numbers, actual credit hour enrollment numbers are up by 3 percent to 83,132.

“This figure is the best measure of actual teaching at UNK and is the highest in at least a decade,” Dr. Bicak said.