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The Antelope

The Antelope

Task force oversees plans for future of enrollment

issue 1 spring


UNK enrollment was down by 0.8 percent in the fall 2019 semester, following a gradual yet continual decrease in students over the last few years. To counteract this drop in numbers, a Student Enrollment Management Task force was erected to work toward new strategies and enrollment projects, and we now have the opportunity to learn how they plan to advance.

The 2019 UNK census reflected the lowest enrollment numbers in approximately 40 years; down to a count of 6,279 students. Some of the only percentages to raise were that of graduate students and transfer students, but why did traditional numbers deplete to begin with? 

We are led to believe that it is for the very same reason we have lost so many first-year students in the first place – the transition of many college freshman back to two-years schools rather than four-year schools. However, many of these students decide to further their education and obtain a bachelor’s degree following their two years elsewhere, and this reflects the rise in transfer student numbers. 

The task force has made it clear that they are aware of this significant change here at UNK. While freshman numbers are still the highest, they are depleting, whereas International and nontraditional student numbers, despite a slight decrease of International students in 2019, continue to rise. 

This is now an evident focus for future enrollment campaigns at UNK. It has been made clear that we are not a “traditional” four-year school, and we suspect that this will now be a bolstered, even advocated point of view; UNK may be seen from here on as a great college for the nontraditional student, and we find that there is nothing wrong with that. 

Still, what does might this task force have to offer that previous campaigns or the university itself did not? It has over 80 UNK faculty and staff members now working towards the same goal – higher enrollment numbers. Yet, we are still left too wonder what this group can really do other than advocate the nontraditional student, or rather, every student. In years past UNK has always shown integrity as a university that welcomes people of any ethnic or economic background, as well as of any age. So, despite vocalizing this more efficiently, how much more can the task force do in hopes of changing  perceptions of UNK? This staff is excited to see, and we hope every other member of UNK’s community is as well.

By attending the campus-wide discussion the Student Enrollment Management Task Force held yesterday, you may have garnered an even better idea. We had attendants and will be sharing coverage of the presentation next week.

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