Education

How many students are enrolled in UNC System universities? More than ever before.

More students are enrolled this year in the University of North Carolina System’s 16 universities than ever before.

Nearly 240,000 students are on campuses across the state for the Fall 2019 semester, the UNC System announced Wednesday. This is the second year in a row that the system has broken the record enrollment.

Undergraduate enrollment increased by 0.9%. Graduate enrollment is up 2.6%, bringing the total enrollment across the system to 239,987. Improved student retention rates is the biggest contributing factor to the rise, according to the UNC System.

“At a time when attendance at other universities is declining, our enrollment continues to break records,” UNC System Interim President Bill Roper said in a statement. “These numbers suggest that our work is having an impact. We are delivering unparalleled education that is more affordable and more accessible to more people.”

The number of incoming first-year students and transfers decreased overall, which the UNC System said is due to the “slowdown in the growth of high school graduating classes and a stronger job market.”

Two initiatives aimed at improving college affordability — passed by the General Assembly in 2016 — also have helped the growth.

Through the NC Promise Tuition plan, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Elizabeth City State University and Western Carolina University offer in-state students $500 tuition per semester and out-of-state students $2,500 tuition per semester.

Those three universities all saw enrollment increases this year.

Starting in 2018, North Carolina residents are also guaranteed fixed tuition costs through four years of their education at any UNC System university.

N.C. State University topped the list with 36,304 students. UNC-Chapel Hill was second, followed by UNC-Charlotte, each with just under 30,000 students, and then East Carolina University, which had 28,651.

But enrollment was down a bit from last year at UNC-Chapel Hill, ECU and UNC-Charlotte.

Here’s a look at the enrollment numbers at each campus:

image002.jpg
Provided by UNC System

Related stories from Charlotte Observer

  Comments