Nicholls expects drop in fall enrollment

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THIBODAUX (AP) — Nicholls State University expects total enrollment to drop by about 100 students in the fall.

The university had over 6,000 enrolled and graduated around 1,300 students during the most recent academic year, The Daily Comet of Thibodaux reported.

The expected drop in the fall is being attributed to the university’s higher graduation rates, along with tougher admission standards.

Nicholls Executive Vice President Larry Howell said the university is basically bringing in the same number of first-time freshmen each year, but has been handing out degrees in record numbers to students who are better able to complete degree work in four to five years.

“We’re graduating more than we’re bringing in. But they’re going out for the right reason. They’re graduating,” Howell said.

In 2000, Nicholls had 7,200 students. But an immediate decrease in enrollment followed in 2001 when the Louisiana Board of Regents implemented higher admissions standards as part of a master plan for secondary education in state schools. Since then, admission standards have continued to increase.