University of Nebraska enrollment again hits record high

September 6, 2017

For the second straight year, enrollment at the University of Nebraska has reached an all-time high, marking continued success in the university’s efforts to expand access to education and build a skilled workforce for the state.

Enrollment figures were announced today by NU President Hank Bounds. Headcount enrollment at NU’s four campuses and the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture this fall is 52,679, a 0.3 percent increase over last year’s record high of 52,516.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and University of Nebraska Medical Center each have record enrollments this year, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Nebraska at Omaha both have their largest-ever incoming freshman classes. Among other highlights, the university also continues to achieve new milestones in diversity; the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s student body is its most diverse in history, almost one-third of UNO’s incoming undergraduate class comes from underrepresented groups, and 44 percent of UNO undergraduates are the first in their families to go to college.

“When the University of Nebraska grows, so does the state,” Bounds said. “I’m proud that we’re celebrating back-to-back enrollment records, because it means we’re continuing to serve Nebraskans effectively through affordable, outstanding education.

“Enrollment growth means more students and families recognize the value and quality we provide. And it means we’re doing more to educate Nebraska’s future workforce. I’m excited about our potential to attract an even higher number of students to the University of Nebraska so that we expand our impact and continue to grow this state.”

Bounds noted that the university already is a key driver of workforce development for Nebraska, producing close to 11,000 graduates each year in health care, agriculture, business, education and other areas. Today one of every 7 working-age Nebraskans holds a University of Nebraska degree.

Continued growth will be critical, particularly given that more than 70 percent of all jobs in Nebraska will soon require education beyond high school. Growth among underrepresented students, nonresidents, and students who learn via distance all will be areas of focus as the university seeks to expand access and grow Nebraska’s talent base.

Bounds thanked Nebraska policymakers for their long history of making affordable, quality higher education a priority. A stable base of state support has allowed the university to keep tuition affordable for students and families while also maintaining the high quality of its academic programs. Currently each NU institution represents a tremendous value compared to peers, and NU students graduate with lower debt loads than students at similar institutions.

The University of Nebraska’s fall 2017 enrollment figures are as follows:

University-wide enrollment totals

  • Undergraduate students: 39,599 (0.1 percent decrease)
  • First-time freshmen: 7,914 (0.3 percent decrease)
  • Graduate students: 9,989 (1.6 percent increase)
  • Professional students: 3,091 (1.7 percent increase)
  • Total enrollment including NCTA: 52,679 (0.3 percent increase)

Campus enrollment totals

  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln: 26,079 (0.7 percent increase)
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha: 15,730 (0.7 percent increase)
  • University of Nebraska at Kearney: 6,644 (2.1 percent decrease)
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center: 3,908 (1.2 percent increase)
  • Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture: 317 (7.3 percent decrease)

Click here to see a chart containing a full summary of enrollment data. Figures are based on a student census taken on the sixth day of classes.

Media Contact:
Melissa Lee
Director of Communications,
University of Nebraska