University surpasses 17,000 students for first time

9/8/2010 | By: Natalie Savidge  |

For the first time in its 136-year history, the University of Nevada, Reno tops 17,000 students and surpasses the amount by a large margin, welcoming 17,679 undergraduate and graduate students to campus this fall. This marks a five percent increase over the fall 2009 enrollment of 16,862 students.

Improved retention and a significant jump in the number of incoming freshmen are the primary contributors to the overall increase. The University saw a 27 percent increase in first-time freshmen, with 2,764 freshmen starting this year compared to 2,172 last fall.

“This accomplished class is the largest freshmen class in the University’s history,” University President Milt Glick said. “These students will contribute to the campus atmosphere and learning environment, and they will contribute to the state’s future success.”

Fall 2010 enrollment data also revealed the following:

  • Retention of first-time, full-time freshmen hit its highest mark ever at 79 percent.
  • Full-time equivalency increased 5.5 percent, an indication that more students are taking a minimum of 15-credit hours per semester.
  • Diversity also continues to increase. Enrollment of students-of-color is up 11 percent, including 10 percent increases in both Hispanic and Black/Non-Hispanic students.

“Having a diverse student enrollment contributes to the overall education experience and prepares students for increasingly diverse workplaces and the global economy,” Glick said.

The incoming freshmen class includes a continued strong representation of northern Nevada students, plus a strong increase in students from Clark County in southern Nevada. The University enrolled 752 incoming freshmen from Clark County this year compared to 442 last fall. The University’s residence halls opened their doors to 2,151 students this fall compared to 1,713 for fall 2009, a 25.6 percent increase.

The University welcomes 10 new National Merit Scholars this semester. They join the 28 already enrolled, bringing the University’s total to 38. The University received sponsorship status by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation in spring 2009.

One of this year’s new National Merit Scholars, Andrew Zoll, is a graduate of Northwest Career and Technical Academy in Las Vegas and is now a biochemistry and molecular biology major. He chose Nevada over options at Vassar College and New York University because of “extra time in research labs, entrance into the honors program, and a guaranteed room in the best dorm on campus.”

“The University is a pretty great place for a National Merit Scholar,” Zoll said. “So many of the students are helpful and welcoming and it's great to be in an atmosphere where a lot of kids are really focused on their schooling. The University also has a combined, five-year biotechnology bachelor’s and master’s degree program that'll be great to jumpstart my entrance into the biotechnology industry.”

The University’s graduate student enrollment (3,248) is essentially the same as last year’s enrollment (3,294).


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