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University welcomes new students, most National Merit Scholars

Enrollment and diversity increase; 16 more National Merit Scholars enter freshmen year

RENO, Nev. – The University of Nevada, Reno welcomed 18,227 undergraduate and graduate students to campus this fall. This reflects a 1 percent increase over the fall 2011 enrollment of 18,004 students, and continues the trend of steady enrollment growth. 

The University also welcomed more than 80 new Presidential Scholars and 16 new National Merit Scholars this semester, the largest amount of each scholar type welcomed in a semester and bringing the University’s total to nearly 50 National Merit Scholars enrolled. The University received sponsorship status by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation in spring 2009. 

“The University of Nevada, Reno continues to grow the number of students we serve, continually adding to the number of National Merit and Presidential Scholars while increasing access for students of limited means,” University President Marc Johnson said. Students by JCSU

Undergraduate student enrollment increased 2 percent this year from 14,415 last fall to 14,675 this fall. Graduate student enrollment decreased 1 percent from 2,935 students to 2,894. 

Johnson is also pleased with the University’s progress in creating a more diverse campus. Enrollment of students of color for first-year students is 40 percent, and undergraduate and graduate students of color now comprise 29 percent of the University’s total enrollment, up 13 percent from last year, the highest percentage ever. 

“Having a diverse student enrollment contributes to the overall education experience and prepares students for increasingly diverse workplaces and the global economy,” Johnson said. 

One of this year’s new National Merit Scholars, Shay Daylami, is a graduate of Wooster High School in Reno and is now a history and English major. She chose the University of Nevada, Reno over other options because of its programs. 

“I always felt that I was going to go to UNR because it’s in town and it’s one of the best schools in the country,” said Daylami, who is also participating in ROTC. “I like the location, and it’s just a good school.” 

In addition to increased enrollment, the University recently learned it was again placed in the top tier of the best national universities in the latest U.S. News & World Report college and university rankings. This is the University’s third consecutive year in the top tier. 

“We are a quality University and we are providing a quality educational experience right here in Nevada,” Johnson said.

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Nevada’s land-grant university founded in 1874, the University of Nevada, Reno has an enrollment of 18,000 students and is ranked in the top tier of the nation’s best universities. Part of the Nevada System of Higher Education, the University has the system’s largest research program and is home to the state’s medical school. With outreach and education programs in all Nevada counties and with one of the nation’s largest study-abroad consortiums, the University extends across the state and around the world. For more information, visit 

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