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September 16, 2008
By Jane Tors
The University of Nevada, Reno’s 2008 fall semester enrollment report shows a slight increase in total enrollment and a six percent increase in the number of students of color. The University has a total student enrollment of 16,867, a one percent increase over the fall 2007 enrollment of 16,681. Of the University’s total enrollment, 3,101 or 18.4 percent identified themselves as students of color.
“We are pleased to have achieved these gains, particularly since they correspond with increased admission requirements that went into effect this semester,” said Shannon Ellis, vice president of student services. “Many have wondered how or if the new admission requirements would impact enrollment. We are seeing the answer unfold. We continue to experience a steady growth in total enrollment and it appears that the increased requirements are not negatively impacting our ability to enroll students from diverse backgrounds.”
As of fall 2008, students must have a 3.0 grade-point average (GPA) in their core, high school academic courses, which include English, math, social sciences and natural sciences, for admission to the University.
The increase in the University’s admission requirement from a 2.5 to a 3.0 GPA, established by the Nevada Board of Regents, was phased in over two years to allow advanced notice and preparation time for prospective students. A special-admissions application process is also available to prospective students who do not meet the admission requirements, but demonstrate evidence of potential for success through a combination of test scores and GPA, special talents or skills, or improvement in their high school record.
While overall enrollment has increased one percent, the number of total credit hours students are taking in fall 2008 has increased two percent. Ellis noted this as positive since it indicates individual students, on average, registered for more credit hours this semester.
“We have been emphasizing a ‘culture of completion’ and encouraging students to complete their degrees in a timely fashion, with four years as the goal,” she said. “We had every confidence that students would step up to this expectation and it is rewarding to see more of them increasing their credit hours.”
“The future of Nevada depends upon educating its citizens. We are educating this state’s future leaders,” said University President Milt Glick. “It is our mission to support all those who are capable and prepared to successfully earn their college degree.
“Having a diverse enrollment in terms of race, religion, ethnicity and income status enhances the vibrancy of campus,” Glick added. “Opening the eyes of our students to new cultures and ideas prepares them to live and work in a world that is getting smaller by the day.”
Of the entering class of new freshmen, 23 percent identified themselves as students of color. This compares to 22.5 percent last year. In total University student enrollment, this fall saw a 10 percent increase in students self-identified as Hispanic, an eight percent increase in American Indian or native Alaskan, four percent increase in African-American or black/non-Hispanic, and three percent increase in Asian/Pacific Islander.