International enrollment continues to fall as KSU releases spring numbers

Connor Everett

Enrollment continues to decline at the university, according to Kent State’s 15-day enrollment numbers, which were released Tuesday. 

Kent’s admission data is released toward the beginning of every semester and covers a range of topics from overall headcount to the admission numbers from specific states.

A key takeaway is the preponderant headcount of both undergraduate and graduate students reducing, which has been an ongoing theme in the last three years.

Concurrent headcount means students that attend multiple campuses are counted at each campus, which produces higher numbers as a result, as opposed to preponderant enrollment, which only counts students at their majority-course hour campus.

Previous spring admission reports for the Kent campus show 2016 had a preponderant headcount of 27,922. It has gradually dropped since then, and this semester has a headcount of 25,275.

Aaron Berger, the assistant director of Admissions, attributes this to a lack of fresh high school graduates in Ohio, creating increased competition among higher education.

“Simple supply and demand,” said Berger. “There are fewer and fewer students, so it’s becoming even more competitive of a process to enroll the class.”

Berger said Kent is countering this decline by reaching out to other states and sending recruiters there.

“We’ve actually invested in and hired several out-of-state specific recruiters,” Berger said. “So we have a Chicago recruiter … And then we also have somebody in the D.C. area.”

Another continuing trend is the drop of international students. In the spring of 2016, international student enrollment reached its high point of the last five spring semesters, as there were 3,029 international students enrolled at Kent’s main campus. That number has decreased each year since and is now at 1,493.

International Recruitment and Admissions did not respond to a request for comment.

The report also shows how many students are in each college and if these numbers were higher or lower than the last spring semester. Due to the decrease in overall headcount, eight of 12 colleges had fewer students than last year. However, there were a few colleges that saw increased enrollment.

The College of Architecture and Environmental Design saw an increase of 63 students while the College of Public Health has 71 more students than the previous spring, and the College of Nursing has 22 new students.

The data in these reports is organized by Kent State’s Institutional Research department and is scheduled to release on the 15th school day of each fall and spring semester. Each of the eight campuses of Kent State have their own admission report, and a report combining all of the data into one is released as well.

Connor Everett is the recruiting and retention reporter. Contact him at [email protected].