University of Nebraska enrollment grows to highest total in 17 years
University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken announced today that NU’s enrollment has reached its highest total in 17 years, with growth seen on all four campuses and in the key groups of undergraduates and first-time freshmen. Undergraduate enrollment rose 2.7 percent, far exceeding the 1.5 percent annual growth metric set by the Board of Regents, Milliken said.

Total enrollment at NU’s four campuses plus the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture rose 1.8 percent over last fall, to 49,897 – the highest since 1993 and the sixth straight increase. Undergraduate enrollment increased on all four campuses, and strong growth was also seen in the university’s professional programs such as medicine and law.

“Enrollment growth is good news not just for the university, but for the state of Nebraska,” Milliken said. “There is a growing consensus – among local, state and national leaders – that the key ingredient for a competitive economy is a college-educated workforce.”

“Clearly, students and their families also recognize the importance of higher education,” Milliken added.

Milliken pointed to NU’s efforts to increase access to education through initiatives like Collegebound Nebraska, the university’s signature tuition assistance program that provides free tuition for Nebraska students who meet NU’s admission requirements and who qualify for a federal Pell Grant. Generally, a student from a family of four with one in college and an income of about $53,000 or less will be eligible to receive support from Collegebound Nebraska.

Private support is also a key source of financial aid for students, Milliken said. Student aid is one of the top priorities of the university’s ongoing capital campaign.

“We are working hard to put a four-year degree within reach for students,” Milliken said. “Affordable access to high-quality education continues to be the University of Nebraska’s highest priority.”


Milliken noted that Nebraska’s P-16 Initiative, for which he serves as a co-chair with other state leaders, is working to increase Nebraska’s high school graduation rate to 90 percent and its college-going rate to the top 10 nationally.

“Achieving these goals will be critical in preparing students to compete in the knowledge economy,” he said.

Highlights of this year’s enrollment statistics:
  • A 2.7 percent growth in undergraduate enrollment, including undergraduate growth at all four campuses.
  • A 3.5 percent increase in first-time freshmen, including a 15.2 percent increase at UNK.
  • A 6.4 percent increase in enrollment for professional programs.
  • A record-high enrollment at UNMC.
University-wide enrollment totals:
  • First-time freshmen: 7,022 (a 3.5 percent increase)
  • Undergraduate students: 37,336 (a 2.7 percent increase)
  • Graduate students: 9,760 (a 2.2 percent decrease)
  • Professional students: 2,418 (a 6.4 percent increase)
  • Total enrollment (including Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture): 49,897 (a 1.8 percent increase)
  • Total enrollment (excluding Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture): 49,514 (a 1.9 percent increase)
Campus enrollment totals:
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln: 24,610 (a 2.1 percent increase)
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha: 14,665 (a 0.3 percent increase)
  • University of Nebraska at Kearney: 6,753 (1.5 percent increase)
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center: 3,486 (a 7.7 percent increase)
  • Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture: 383 (a 9.9 percent decrease)
A chart containing a summary of enrollment data is attached. Figures are based on a student census taken on the sixth day of classes. Complete enrollment statistics, including those for out-of-state, minority and international enrollments, will be available later in the fall.

Contact: Melissa Lee
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(402) 580-3297
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