4 more schools see enrollment boosts during COVID

Administrators credit online flexibility, new degree programs and enhanced recruitment efforts
By: | September 30, 2020
Nova Southeastern University In South Florida enrolled its largest incoming class in history, reporting an increase of 11% over fall 2019.Nova Southeastern University In South Florida enrolled its largest incoming class in history, reporting an increase of 11% over fall 2019.

Another batch of colleges and universities are reporting enrollment growth this week despite COVID-driven declines on other campuses.

Fall enrollment at Grambling State University in Louisiana—led by a 42% increase in first-year students—rose 4% to 5,438 students.

It’s Grambling’s sixth consecutive increase in enrollment, which has grown by more than 20% since fall 2014.

Administrators credited new degree programs, enhanced recruitment efforts, and changes policies regarding minimum admission standards.


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In South Florida, Nova Southeastern University enrolled its largest incoming class in history, reporting an 11% increase to 2,001 students. Nova’s first-year enrollment grew by 27% in fall 2018 and 22% in fall 2019.

Nearly 40% of Nova’s undergraduates are taking courses fully online this semester.

The university installed remote microphones, speakers, cameras, and big touch screens in all classrooms to give students a choice between online and in-person, President and CEO George Hanbury said.

The university’s BlendFlex allows students to attend class in-person classroom while their classmates join online at the same time.

At Miles College in Alabama, a 40% increase in first-year students helped reverse five years of overall enrollment declines.


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Finally, at Missouri State University, where administrators expected a decrease of as many as 1,500 students, enrollment ticked upward despite COVID and a decline in high school graduates in the state.

“During the spring and summer, we implemented an aggressive campaign to contact current and prospective students to address their concerns,” President Clif Smart said. “We offered classes in a variety of formats, allowing students more options. This flexibility is important to our students as we have all adjusted to this new environment.”

The university set a record for graduate students and also saw increases in underrepresented students and dual-enrolled high school students.


UB’s coronavirus page offers complete coverage of the impacts on higher ed.