GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) East Carolina University has enrolled its third-highest number of students this fall following a record-breaking year in freshman applications, according to figures from the 10th day of class or census day.

Total enrollment is 28,798 for the 2020-2021 academic year, up by 147 students from last year.

Last year’s enrollment was 28,651, according to the ECU Institutional Planning, Assessment and Research office.

At UNC System institutions, census day provides a snapshot of school enrollment data.

Figures are considered preliminary until reviewed and approved by the UNC General Administration.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, ECU received more than 20,000 freshman applications, the most in school history. There are 4,146 first-time freshmen enrolled.

Graduate enrollment at ECU is up by 172 students, accounting for the increase in overall enrollment. Undergraduate enrollment is down slightly by 25 students.

Students in professional programs — medical, dental, audiology, nursing and physical therapy — are up more than 6% this year. This year, 928 students are in those programs compared to 870 last year.

According to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, the top North Carolina counties for ECU entering freshmen are Wake, Mecklenburg, Pitt, Guilford, and tied are Johnston and Cumberland.

The top out-of-state homes for entering freshmen are Virginia, New Jersey, Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania.

ECU’s top transfer institutions are Pitt, Wake Technical, Wayne, Craven and Nash community colleges.

ECU continues to add new partnerships with surrounding institutions to improve student access and success, including co-admission agreements with 29 community colleges that enable students to seamlessly transition into degree-completion programs.