Enrollment rises at Kent campus, down at regionals

Marissa Barnhart

Fifteen-day enrollment statistics that will be released Thursday showed an increase in enrollment for Kent State’s main campus and a decrease for regional campuses.

 T. David Garcia, the associate vice president for enrollment management, said he is “very pleased” with the Kent campus’ enrollment rate. He also said there are spikes in enrollment for the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Digital Sciences.

“Enrollment is up 1.6 percent on Kent campus, which is another record for spring,” Garcia said.

Although Kent campus enrollment has increased, regional campus enrollment has decreased by 10 percent. Garcia said he was not surprised about the decline because regional campus enrollment has been decreasing for the last two years.

“We see the economy get better, and that tends to impact students going to regional campuses,” Garcia said. “As unemployment drops, more students are finding employment outside of going to the regional campuses.”

Freshman persistence has also increased by 1.3 percent this semester, meaning 93.7 percent of freshmen are returning compared to 92.4 percent last spring.

Garcia said he attributes this rise to the efforts made by faculty and staff to retain students and President Lester Lefton’s plan to increase the freshman profile with higher GPAs and ACT scores. He said that these efforts are the reason students are more likely to come back.

Garcia said the university is also trying to increase retention rate from fall semester to fall semester.

“Last year, our fall-to-fall (retention) rate was 77.6 percent,” Garcia said. “We’re hoping to increase to 78 or 79 percent.”

The College of Arts and Sciences has also seen an increase of 2.4 percent — a total of 167 students more than last year.

The School of Digital Sciences’ enrollment has risen by 105 students from last spring’s total of 119.

Garcia said that as more people are finding out about the program, enrollment is expected to rise.

“Given it’s a new program, we’re expecting more students in the future,” Garcia said.

He also said students who change their majors will play a factor into higher enrollment.

Contact Marissa Barnhart at [email protected]