UNR enrollment up slightly

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RENO " Nevada's two universities report slight increases in enrollment despite tougher admission standards.

At the University of Nevada, Reno, officials say preliminary numbers for the fall semester show enrollment of 16,867, a 1 percent increase over last fall's 16,681.

Minority enrollment was up 6 percent.

Preliminary figures also show enrollment rose by almost 2 percent at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, from 26,945 in fall 2007 to 27,454 this fall, a 1.89 percent increase.

The universities raised admission standards this fall and feared a repeat of declining enrollments and a loss of minority students that followed the last time they increased the grade point average required for admission in 2006.

Administrators at UNR said they are pleased that full-time enrollment is up 2 percent because students who go to college full time are more likely to graduate and in a shorter period of time.

"This is positive news as we continue to emphasize graduation rates and encourage a full-time credit load and degree completion in four years," UNR spokeswoman Jane Tors said.

"The 6 percent increase in students of color is particularly good news as well," she said. "As you know, many have wondered how higher admission requirements would impact (minorities)."

When admission requirements were raised from a 2.5 GPA in 2005 to a 2.75 in fall 2006, total enrollment dropped by 14.4 percent at UNLV and by 2.6 percent at UNR. Hispanic student enrollment at the Reno campus fell by 10.6 percent.

This fall, the grade point average required for admission to UNR and UNLV was raised again, increasing from a 2.75 to a 3.0, the equivalent of a B average.

However, in 2007, the Nevada Board of Regents decided to allow the universities to accept some students whose GPA didn't meet the requirements to enroll at the universities under "special admissions." That includes students with special talents, such as artistic or athletic ability, or who have overcome hardships.

Of the total 3,203 freshmen entering UNR this fall, 250 were special admissions, officials said. Students also can use eligible SAT or ACT scores instead of the GPA to qualify for admission.


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