PORTALES, NM – Sept. 10, 2021 – ENMU-Portales administrators report that Eastern New Mexico University's numbers are down by 5.3 percent overall from fall 2020. The fall 2021 total headcount is 4,991 students, down from 5,268 in 2020.
According to numbers supplied by Brenden Hennessey, director of Institutional Research at ENMU, the undergraduate headcount is at 3,756, down 4.4 percent from 3,928 in fall 2020. The biggest drop among undergraduates was in first time freshmen and sophomores – each down 21.1 percent, while the number of juniors declined by 6.8 present, and seniors declined by 2.7 percent.
Non-degree seeking undergraduate enrollment did increase, however, by 44.7 percent, but that was nowhere near enough to offset the numerical decline among other undergraduates.
At the graduate level, 1,235 have enrolled for the fall 2021 semester, compared to 1,340 in 2020, a 7.8 percent decline. The two biggest programs in graduate school – the MBA and Alternative Licensure Programs – accounted for the most shrinkage in numbers, although most of the other programs in graduate school are actually up in numbers from last year.
Hennessey stated this enrollment drop is part of a much larger picture, one which includes a smaller overall crop of high school graduates.
ENMU President Patrice Caldwell expressed optimism that overall enrollment will increase in the future.
"ENMU appreciates the work of New Mexico school counselors, staff, administrators and educators who have worked tirelessly to help students through this pandemic," Caldwell said. "Eastern's faculty and staff are very pleased to have students back on campus this fall, and we are confident our enrollment will increase as COVID concerns are addressed.
"Meanwhile, we are working with transfer and graduate students as well as high school seniors to help them choose college as the next step for their lives and careers," she concluded.