State Colleges Grow Enrollment to 8,774

Chadron State Students

LINCOLN – The Chadron, Peru, and Wayne State Colleges increased their fall enrollments by 7 percent since originally announcing the preliminary enrollment numbers in early September. 

The Nebraska State Colleges’ overall student enrollment (8,774) is the largest headcount since 2016. The increase in enrollments at the State Colleges is bucking the national trend of enrollment decreases. According to the National Student Clearinghouse release, undergraduate enrollment has declined 3.5 percent so far for Fall 2021 and nearly 8 percent since Fall 2019 across the country.

“Enrollment growth does not happen by chance but is instead the result of the commitment of the staff at Chadron, Peru, and Wayne State Colleges,” said Dr. Paul Turman, Chancellor of the Nebraska State College System (NSCS). “We are pleased with our progress but remain focused on the importance of continued growth and our mission of providing high-quality, affordable, and accessible four-year degree opportunities to all. The steady progress in enrollment growth made over the past three years will assist us in meeting the goal of serving 9,000 students by 2025.”

The updated 2025 Strategic Plan, released at the beginning of the year, demonstrates the NSCS is making progress towards achieving its goals despite the challenges presented by the pandemic. Specific highlights from the update include:

  • The placement of State College students continues to be one of the highest in the region, especially for the Nebraska residents. This past year more than 85% of the Nebraska residents who graduated from Chadron, Peru, and Wayne State were employed in Nebraska one year after graduation.
  • Support from the Governor and Legislature allowed the Board of Trustees to freeze tuition for 2021-22, ensuring continued affordable access to high-quality educational opportunities for Nebraska residents. As the NSCS prepares for the upcoming Legislative Session, continued support of the State Colleges by the Governor and Legislature during the upcoming session will positively impact our students and enable Chadron, Peru, and Wayne State to continue to play a vital role in building Nebraska’s future workforce.

The Fall Enrollment report provides an overall picture of student enrollment across the Nebraska State Colleges.  The report is based upon data as of October 15th and is consistent with the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDs) submissions and definitions to the extent possible.  

State Colleges Enrollment Numbers:

  • Final Fall 21 Enrollment: 8,774
    • Chadron State: 2,250
    • Peru State: 1,944
    • Wayne State: 4,580
  • 10-Day Fall 21 Enrollment: 8,238

Judi Yorges, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Communications
402.471.2505  |

"I am a first-generation student, and it was a really hard decision for me to attend college or not. Then, I found Peru State College. With the scholarships and affordable living expenses here, Peru made the decision a lot less difficult."

Photo of Carlene Riley

Carlene Riley

Peru State College