NEW ORLEANS — The number of incoming transfer students is up but overall enrollment is down this fall for the seventh year in row at the University of New Orleans.

Fall enrollment of 8,037 is down about 4.6 percent from last year.

In an interview with the New Orleans Advocate (, the university’s president, John Nicklow, said a 7 percent increase in the number of transfer students is among reasons for optimism.

But, Nicklow said it will take time for his plan to increase overall enrollment at UNO to succeed.

“It’s simply not realistic to turn this problem around in one year,” he said.

Nicklow has set a target for UNO to have 12,000 students in five years, a goal he’s described as “lofty.”

The fall 2016 undergraduate enrollment of 6,442 is down by about 2.4 percent, while the graduate enrollment of 1,595 dropped about 12.5 percent.

The percentage of students retained from the fall of their freshman year to the fall of their sophomore year was just over 64 percent, an improvement of 2 percentage points over last year.

“The first step in the enrollment turnaround is making sure that you change the rate of decline, and we made good progress at that,” he said. “The two key indicators that have to change are the number of students coming in and the number being retained, and we’ve positively impacted them this year.”

Information from: The New Orleans Advocate,

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