LINCOLN – For the fourth straight year, the Nebraska State College System (NSCS) experiences overall growth in enrollment with an increase in student headcount. As of September 2, the NSCS had an overall increase in headcount of 0.2%. The State Colleges have increased enrollment by 6.3% since Fall 2018. The most recent increase is primarily attributed to a 19.7% increase in new transfer students at Chadron State, Peru State, and Wayne State Colleges.
“Enrollment growth does not happen by chance but is instead the result of the dedication of the staff and faculty at Chadron, Peru, and Wayne State Colleges,” said Dr. Paul Turman, Chancellor of the NSCS. “The State Colleges are committed to providing our students with affordable degree options and pathways needed to fulfill their educational and career aspirations. These options and pathways allow Chadron, Peru, and Wayne to meet students where they are and assist them in getting to where they want to be.”
The collaboration and partnerships between the State Colleges and regional community colleges allow students to move seamlessly from one institution to the other. Chadron State, Peru State, and Wayne State also accept up to 66 credit hours of coursework from accredited two-year institutions that can be distributed to general education, major and minor, and elective coursework requirements for completion of their Bachelor’s degree.
State College System-wide enrollment totals:
- System Headcount Total: 8,254 (0.2% increase)
- System 4-Year Student Headcount Increase: 488 (6.3% increase)
- System Full-time Equivalent (FTE): 6,316 (0.0% increase)
- New Transfer Students: 541 (19.7% increase)
- First-time freshmen: 1,359 (9.3% decrease
- Undergraduate students: 6,682 (0.5% increase)
- Non-resident students: 2,192 (1.7% increase)
- Graduate students 1,572 (0.9 decrease)
Chadron State College
Headcount: 2,317 (2.6% Increase)
Chadron had a 2.6% gain in total enrollment as compared to 2021. The largest contributing factor was the 47% increase in new transfer students who selected Chadron State as the institution of choice to continue their education. The double-digit increase bucks the national trend of declining enrollments in community colleges. Community college enrollments across the nation dropped 3.4% last year according to data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. These declines can have a ripple effect on the number of students looking to transfer to a four-year degree program. In addition, Chadron State’s retention rate of its Fall 2021 full-time freshman class is 72.9%, a 3.7% increase in retention when compared to the prior year.
Peru State College
Headcount: 1,543 (10.9% Decrease)
Peru State increased the number of new transfer students by 11%. The second Corrections Leadership Scholarship cohort has 27 students committed to the program, increasing the overall program by 58.8%. Peru State experienced a significant decrease in its freshman class after having its second-largest freshman class in over thirty years.
Wayne State College
Headcount: 4,394 (3.4% Increase)
Wayne State’s enrollment increased for the sixth straight year. Wayne State’s headcount increased by 145 students over 2021, with significant gains in new transfer students (3.6%) and graduate students (7.1%). The Class of 2026 is one of the largest Freshman classes in the College’s history – 790 students.
The official enrollment numbers for the NSCS will be captured on October 15, 2022 in coordination with the IPEDS data reporting timeline. The unofficial data points above reflect 10-Day enrollment information and are an approximation of what we expect for official census data. The data findings presented above are in comparison to 10-Day enrollment numbers from Fall 2021.