NSU releases fall enrollment data

Northwestern State University’s Fall 2023 enrollment was not as low as administrators had anticipated, according to President Dr. Marcus Jones. Total enrollment on the 14th day of classes, the date by which all students, including late registrants were counted, was 8,847, a 5.8 percent decline from one year ago.  Last year’s Fall 2022 enrollment was 9,389.   

Undergraduate students number 5,860.  There are 987 students seeking master’s, doctoral and post-baccalaureate degrees and 2,000 high school dual enrollment students.  

Of the undergraduates, 1,029 are first-time freshmen, up 61 from Fall 2022, a 6.3 percent increase. Fall 2022 entering freshmen were retained at a rate of 66.37 percent, an improvement of 12.2 percent over the previous year.   

“As compared to Fall 2022, we are down 542 students,” Jones said. “However, the first-time freshmen and retention rate has increased.  We are making positive strides.” 

A continuing decline in the college age population nationally is among the factors cited for the reduction in enrollment, Jones said, but NSU’s recruiting team has expanded and enhanced communications with prospective students through direct mail, social media platforms, marketing and advertising strategies, visits to high school campuses, special events at NSU and other initiatives. 

“We are also increasing awareness of tuition waivers and other financial support for out-of-state students, children and grandchildren of alumni and other prospective students who meet certain criteria,” Jones said.  

The university is also focused on superior customer service for all students and prospective students and has created a mentoring network focused on personal connections with students, which positively affects retention, he added.  

“NSU consistently reviews processes and procedures to facilitate a seamless transition for college admissions and student retention. Both enrolling and retaining students are university-wide responsibilities,” Jones said.  

Enrollment for B-term classes is available until Oct. 17.  B-term classes begin Oct. 9.  

NSU will host the Fall N Side View Day, a preview day for high school students, on Saturday, Sept. 30. During the event, prospective students can tour campus facilities and get information on financial aid, living on campus, housing, meal plans, campus involvement and amenities, such as the Wellness, Recreation and Activities Center and the Esports Lounge. Faculty are on hand to answer questions or discuss opportunities in their academic departments and current students answer questions about student life.  

Information on registration, admissions and advising is available at https://www.nsula.edu/futurestudents/ or by calling the Recruiting Office at  318) 357-4615.