Enrollment at Northwestern State this fall of 10,900 is the second highest in the university’s 135-year history. Student registration is down slightly from last year’s record enrollment of 11,081.
Northwestern’s enrollment has increased by 21 percent over the past five years at a time when college and university enrollment nationwide has declined for seven consecutive years.
NSU president Dr. Chris Maggio said, “The university continues to expand and enhance academic programs, upgrade facilities and provide improved services for students to enrich the experiences of the growing number of students enrolled at Northwestern in recent years.”
Maggio said, “There is an atmosphere of enthusiasm at Northwestern that reflects the recognition by students of ongoing innovative initiatives to assure that they are engaged in meaningful academic and extracurricular programs.”
He cited the recent development of more than 20 certificate programs at post bachelor’s and master’s levels in response to demands from students and area employers and approval of a master’s program in the university’s nationally-acclaimed computer information systems curriculum.
The Northwestern president said the university’s positive impact on health care in the region “continues to grow as a result of increased enrollment in Nursing and Allied Health programs and expanded partnerships with private health care industries.”
Maggio said building renovations, campus road improvements and other infrastructure upgrades have accompanied NSU’s enrollment gains since 2014 and that other enhancements in the physical plant are under way.
“Enrollment growth during that period and many of the physical improvements have been made possible,” Maggio said, “by increased financial support from alumni and friends for scholarships and other purposes.”
Northwestern continues to expand services for students. A Chick-fil-A restaurant has been added to the NSU Marketplace, and work is nearing completion on a Steak ‘n Shake restaurant in the Student Union.
A new e-sports venue is planned for the Student Union building, an entertainment stage has been completed near the main campus dining facility and the 1,400-seat A.A. Fredericks Auditorium used by the Creative and Performing Arts program is being renovated this fall.
Maggio said Northwestern and other universities in Louisiana and across the nation “have faced challenges in increasing their enrollment in recent years because of soaring tuition costs and other factors.”
He said, “It is encouraging and certainly a tribute to the university’s faculty and staff that Northwestern had the second highest enrollment in its history this fall and that the student population has grown by more than 20 percent in this climate in which higher education enrollment continues to decline across the nation.”