University student body most diverse ever

11/8/2007 8:00:00 AM

The University of Nevada, Reno attracted its most diverse student body in history in figures collected for the Fall 2007 semester. Enrollment data show 17.5 percent of the total 16,681 students identify themselves as students of color.

These 2,922 students included 1,207 students of Hispanic descent, 1,141 Asian-American/Pacific Islanders, 405 Black and 169 American Indian students.

The percentage and total number are up from 2006's record numbers of 16.7 percent and 2,795 total students of color.

The University also enrolled its highest number of freshman students of color, as 23 percent of the group of 2,278 freshmen registered for the semester identified themselves as American Indian, Asian-American/Pacific Islanders, Black or Hispanic. Some 206 of these students identify themselves as being of Hispanic descent, 199 are Asian American/Pacific Islanders, 83 are Black and 26 are American Indian. The total of students who identify their ethnicity as White is 1,527 and the total of those who identify their ethnicity as unknown is 198. Thirty-nine freshmen students identify their ethnicity as nonresident alien.

At the close of late registration in September, University enrollment was up slightly, and at an all-time high. The record, a total of 16,681 students, topped last fall's 16,663 enrollees.

The University retained more than 78 percent of its White, full-time new freshmen who first enrolled in Fall 2006. The University retained 82 percent of its new, full-time Asian-American/Pacific Islander freshmen from 2006 to this year, as well as 78 percent of its new, full-time Hispanic freshmen from Fall 2006 to Fall 2007. For Blacks, the new, full-time freshman retention rate was 74 percent. For American Indians, the rate was 61.5 percent.

"These are numbers that are good, but they can still be improved," University President Milton Glick said. "One of our greatest opportunities is building our University's retention infrastructure so that all of our students can succeed. We have made some promising steps forward in this regard.

"It is imperative that all communities in Nevada know that we will provide their daughters and sons with the retention tools that will one day lead to their students' graduation. For these students to attain their degrees in four years is of utmost importance to us. Creating a culture of completion on our campus for all of our students has become job one at the University."

The average high school grade-point average for new, full-time freshmen entering the University this fall is 3.36. Of its students of color, the Asian-American/Pacific Islander group exceeded the average. Asian-American students averaged 3.44. Other averages among these freshmen included 3.37 for White students, 3.33 for Hispanics, 3.26 for American Indians and 3.13 for Black students.


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