The official Fall 2019 numbers are in, and UNLV’s enrollment, retention, and graduation rate have all hit record highs.
UNLV has eclipsed 31,000 students for the first time in its 62-year history, with increases across the board in undergraduate, graduate, and professional enrollment. The undergraduate class is buoyed by an all-time high incoming class of more than 4,400 students – 83 percent of whom hail from Nevada.
The numbers also show that UNLV’s students are staying in school, and graduating, at higher rates than ever before. The university’s first-year retention – the rate of first-time, full-time freshmen who return for a second year – is up to 79.4 percent, and the six-year graduation rate continues to trend north and is now at 44.8 percent.
“These encouraging numbers underscore the commitment by so many at UNLV to advance student success, from the time students first interact with our university, throughout their time on campus, and into their chosen careers,” said UNLV President Marta Meana. “It’s our continuing goal to ensure that all of our students have the resources they need to complete their chosen degree and enter the workforce prepared to compete at the highest level.”
A few weeks into each semester, the UNLV Office of Decision Support pulls and reviews data from across campus that is used for official reporting purposes throughout the academic year. Among this fall’s highlights:
- Final Fall 2019 enrollment is 31,171, up 2.3 percent from Fall 2018.
- Undergraduate enrollment is 25,830 and graduate enrollment is 4,387, both up 2 percent from last fall. With 977 students, professional enrollment is up 10 percent.
- A UNLV-record 4,452 first-year students marks a 7.9 percent increase over last fall.
- First-generation students – defined as neither parent having ever attended college – make up 28.8 percent of the first-year class.
- Nearly 300 veterans, military, and military family members joined UNLV this fall, part of a community of nearly 1,900.
- Undergraduate minority enrollment is up 5 percent over last fall and accounts for 67.6 percent of total undergrad enrollment.
- Latinx students make up the largest undergraduate ethnic group at 31 percent.
- At 79.4 percent, first-year retention is at an all-time high and bests the previous high (fall 2009 cohort) by 1.5 percent.
- UNLV’s six-year graduation rate is now 44.8 percent, an increase over last year’s previous record-high of 42.9 percent.
Growth is evident throughout the university this semester, with fall openings planned for both the Fertitta Football Complex on campus and Black Fire Innovation at the UNLV Harry Reid Research and Technology Park. Work on a new Advanced Engineering Studies Building is expected to begin in early 2020 and will support one of the university’s fastest-growing academic programs.
In the health sciences, the School of Medicine welcomed its third cohort in July and now has 180 students. The School of Nursing also continues to expand its competitive undergraduate program and, beginning this fall, will admit more than 200 students annually over three cohorts to its upper division program – a 50 percent bump since 2017. The university also launched a new Department of Brain Health in the School of Integrated Health Sciences, expanding research and learning opportunities across the neurosciences.
The campus is also becoming more residential. With the August opening of The Degree and continuing demand for all of UNLV's residence halls, more students than ever – close to 3,000 – call UNLV home.
“There’s a palpable feeling of promise and ambition that permeates our campus every fall and invigorates our faculty, staff, and students,” said UNLV President Marta Meana. “As a diverse and growing R1 university, we are uniquely positioned to make a profound impact on the lives of our students and enrich the cultural and intellectual vitality of our community.”