UNI sees decrease in fall semester

The+total+enrollment+for+fall+2021+is+9%2C231+students.+Although+the+total+enrollment+is+down%2C+more+students+are+graduating+in+three+years%2C+contributing+to+the+low+enrollment.

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The total enrollment for fall 2021 is 9,231 students. Although the total enrollment is down, more students are graduating in three years, contributing to the low enrollment.

Mallory Schmitz

UNI has released its total enrollment for fall 2021: 9,231 students. This number includes undergraduate students, graduate students and both full-time and part-time students. It is also the lowest enrollment UNI has seen in decades.

While that statement may be startling to many, associate vice president for enrollment management Kristin Woods assures students and families that they have nothing to worry about concerning the future of the university.

She attributes this decrease in part to UNI’s excellence in graduation rates. “We have another record year in terms of graduation rates for our students with higher three-year graduation rates and higher four-year graduation rates. When students are here for less time for their degree, it places downward pressure on enrollment,” she says.  

UNI ranks far above similar institutions across the United States when comparing graduation rates. In addition, decreasing enrollment has been a national trend in universities nation-wide over the past few years.

Woods also brings the continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to attention. Many international students continue to face unique challenges including embassy closures and visa appointment delays, preventing them from entering the United States. While UNI’s capacity to fix these matters is limited, Woods assures that these students are being supported as much as possible, saying, “We’ve had many international students who have had to delay enrollment and defer to a future term, so we’re staying connected with them and we look forward to eventually welcoming them back.”

The freshman class size has also increased for the second year in a row, a trend Woods and the admissions staff are very excited about.  

Since the start of the pandemic, admissions and outreach have been very limited in how they have been able to connect with prospective students.