Freshmen Enrollment Dips at Nevada Universities

RENO, Nev.

Overall enrollment of first-time freshmen dropped at Nevada’s two universities after tougher admission standards took effect in 2006, with minorities including Alaska Natives affected the most, the Board of Regents was told.

Regents, meeting Friday in Reno, heard a report on the impact of their decision to raise the grade point average from 2.5 to 2.75.

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas reported a 22 percent decrease in black students and a 50 percent drop in American Indian and Alaska Native students.

The University of Nevada, Reno, reported a 35 percent increase in black students and a 10.6 percent decrease in Hispanic students.

From fall 2005 to 2006, UNLV’s overall freshmen enrollment dropped 14.4 percent compared with UNR’s decrease of 2.6 percent.

Under regents’ action, the minimum GPA will go up again from 2.75 to 3.0 this fall.

But Jane Nichols, vice chancellor of academic and student affairs for the state’s higher education system, said she expects freshman enrollment to climb this fall.

The increase is expected in part because of regents’ decision to allow special admissions for certain students — those with artistic or athletic talent or who had good grades before some adversity.

Students also can opt to use their SAT or ACT composite scores instead of their high school grades to gain admission.

Students denied admission can enroll at community colleges or the state college, where they can sharpen academic skills before they apply to a university, Nichols said.

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