'Much to be proud' of in new University of Nebraska enrollment numbers

September 4, 2018

Freshman enrollment is holding steady, the University of Nebraska’s student body is increasingly diverse, and campuses continue to grow in areas important to workforce and economic development, according to fall 2018 enrollment figures announced today by NU President Hank Bounds.

Enrollment across the four NU campuses and the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis this fall is 51,883, according to Bounds. That represents the fourth-highest total in NU history and a 1 percent decline from fall 2017.

“In a perfect world, enrollment would go up every year,” Bounds said. “But after five straight years of growth, including back-to-back record highs, some ebb and flow is inevitable. Particularly when you consider the challenges the University of Nebraska has faced in recent years, there’s much to be proud of in this enrollment report.

“The chancellors and I are focused on what the university and our partners need to do going forward to accelerate our growth so that we continue to meet the needs of Nebraska’s workforce and economy. That includes a strong partnership with the State of Nebraska that sends a message to our young people that state leaders care about their future and are committed to working together to ensure affordable, accessible, excellent education for students and families for generations to come.”

Bounds praised campus leadership for their commitment to student access and success and highlighted a number of achievements across the university system, including:

  • Enrollment of first-time freshmen university-wide held steady at 7,911, while enrollment of professional students grew 2.6 percent.
  • The university serves an increasingly diverse student body, including students from all Nebraska counties, all 50 states and more than 100 countries around the world. NU will continue to focus on enhancing diversity so that the promise of higher education is accessible to all students – a key workforce development strategy given that more than 70 percent of all Nebraska jobs will soon require higher education.
  • The University of Nebraska at Omaha is welcoming a record-setting incoming first-year class for the fourth straight year. Not only is the first-year class the largest in UNO history, it is also the most diverse. UNO also continues its success in expanding access for students; military-affiliated enrollment increased and about 40 percent of Maverick undergraduates are the first in their families to attend college.
  • Enrollment of first-time, full-time freshmen at the University of Nebraska at Kearney is up 4.4 percent, and enrollments of online bachelor’s degree students and graduate students also increased. Enrollment of freshmen from Colorado increased 225 percent over last year following a push to offer in-state tuition to UNK for Colorado and Kansas students.
  • The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has its third-highest enrollment after graduating its largest class in history. UNL’s student body is also its most diverse in history, and enrollment of out-of-state freshmen continues to increase. The colleges of agricultural science and natural resources, arts and sciences, fine and performing arts, and journalism and mass communications all saw growth. Further, the average ACT score of incoming freshmen at UNL continues to increase, to 25.4.
  • For the 18th straight year, enrollment at the University of Nebraska Medical Center has hit a record high, reflecting UNMC’s commitment to educating the future healthcare workforce for rural and urban Nebraska. Most programs saw increases, but there was significant growth in nursing, allied health and other programs directly related to critical workforce needs.
  • The number of full-time students attending NCTA, which specializes in two-year agriculture and veterinary technology programs, has reached a 23-year record.

Details on the University of Nebraska’s fall 2018 enrollment follow. View Full Summary. Figures are based on a student census taken on the sixth day of classes.

University-wide enrollment totals

  • Undergraduate students: 38,947 (1 percent decrease)
  • First-time freshmen: 7,911 (flat)
  • Graduate students: 9,766 (2.2 percent decrease)
  • Professional students: 3,170 (2.6 percent increase)
  • Total enrollment including NCTA: 51,883 (1 percent decrease)

Campus enrollment totals

  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln: 25,820 (1 percent decrease)
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha: 15,431 (1.9 percent decrease)
  • University of Nebraska at Kearney: 6,327 (1.1 percent decrease)
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center: 3,970 (1.6 percent increase)
  • Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture: 335 (5.7 percent increase)
Media Contact:
Melissa Lee
Director of Communications,
University of Nebraska