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08/21/2014: NMSU students walk the International Mall Thursday on campus on the first day of class instruction. (NMSU Photo)

NMSU Sees ‘Significant Increase’ in First-Time Freshmen Enrollment for Fall 2017 Semester

Enrollment of first-time freshmen at New Mexico State University is up 11.3 percent from the same time last year. That marks the university’s largest increase in first-time freshmen in more than 17 years.

Additionally, branch transfers at NMSU are up more than 17 percent.

“I certainly feel we are turning the corner when it comes to enrollment,” NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers said. “From what we know so far, our increase in first-time freshmen is incredibly strong, if not the highest in the state. The strategies we’ve deployed in marketing and recruitment are definitely paying off, even while we have increased our admissions standards and established a first-year, on-campus residency requirement.”

The university has also seen a significant increase in Aggie Pathway students – a program developed to allow NMSU students to begin their college careers at one of NMSU’s community colleges before transferring to the Las Cruces campus. For fall 2016, there were 286 Aggie Pathway students. This year, that number is 753, including 15 for NMSU Alamogordo, 12 at NMSU Carlsbad, 695 at DACC, 7 at NMSU Grants and 24 at NMSU’s Las Cruces campus.

“It is my aspiration to one day have as many as 1,000 students in our Aggie Pathway program where students can benefit from smaller classes and stay closer to their homes before transferring to the Las Cruces campus,” Carruthers said.

The upswing in first year enrollment on the Las Cruces campus promises to mitigate enrollment declines the university has experienced since seeing peak enrollment during the Great Recession. Since Carruthers became NMSU Chancellor, the university has declined in enrollment by 13.8 percent, a trend that led to a strategic marketing and recruiting campaign that has resonated well with students in New Mexico, El Paso and southern Arizona.

Author:  Justin Bannister – NMSU

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