Classes begin today at Chadron State College with an increase in fall enrollment for the first time since 2017, helping make President Dr Randy Rhine “cautiously optimistic” for the new year.
Rhine told the annual all-employee “welcome back” meeting Friday morning that fall enrollment fell 18% between 2017 and 2020, creating a budget crunch since about a third of Chadron State’s budget comes from tuition and fees.
Rhine said enrollment by total headcount as of Friday was up 6.5% and credit hours up 5.4%, although both could change by the 10th day of the semester, the last day classes can be dropped without penalty.
Rhine told the faculty, staff, and professional staff that last spring’s headcount enrollment was up 1.5% while 72.5% of last fall’s first-time full-time freshmen are back along with 71.1% of all students from last fall.
He credited both sets of numbers to the work of Vice President of Enrollment Management Dr Tami Selby and her staff, adding that he felt the school was just beginning to see the results of those efforts.