NATCHITOCHES, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — Northwestern State University has set an enrollment record in spite of the coronavirus pandemic.
The fall enrollment of 11,447, was an increase of 547 students, or 5 percent, over last year’s total of 10,900
NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio said, “The current record registration “is remarkable and especially gratifying in the midst of the global pandemic.”
Among the highlights of NSU’s record enrollment were increases in the number of graduate students and freshmen retention.
Graduate School registration this fall is 1,150, an increase of 83 students, or 7.8 percent over last year. The retention rate for full-time first-year students increased from 70 percent to 74 percent.
For the fourth consecutive year, entering freshmen enrollment has been over 1,500 students.
Dr. Maggio said, “This year’s enrollment increase “reflects both the extraordinary effectiveness of the faculty and staff in continuing to provide quality instruction and services during the health crisis and the resilience and perseverance of our students in overcoming monumental challenges.”
Beginning this fall, the university is providing in-person instruction, online classes and hybrid classes offering both in-person and virtual learning. Extensive procedures and protocols have also been established to help protect the health and safety of NSU students, faculty and staff and the community.
Maggio said, “These exceptional efforts to provide opportunities for students to continue progressing toward degrees in various modes of learning and in a safe and healthy environment have certainly been a major factor in the record enrollment this fall.”
The NSU president also noted that the university has worked diligently to assist students who have faced financial difficulties because of job losses, business closures and other economic issues that have negatively affected them and their families during the pandemic.
Maggio added, “Our Office of Financial Aid has provided assistance to numerous students to help them find ways to continue their education in these difficult times. Also, alumni and friends of the university have generously contributed to a COVID-19 relief fund at the NSU Foundation that has helped a number of our students. This financial support made the difference in many students being able to continue their education at the university.”