Amid statewide declines, Kent enrollment increases

Lyndsey Schley

Kent State enrollment increased 0.4 percent since fall 2012, for a total of 40,559 students, according to the spring 2013 15th Day Enrollment Statistics.

While the increase is small, enrollment has dropped at many other Ohio universities and colleges, said Wayne Schneider, director of Research, Planning and Institutional Effectiveness.

“Given the situation around the state, I think a lot of our sister institutions have seen declines last fall and this spring, so being up slightly is really good,” Schneider said. “It’s going to take a little extra effort to keep students. Everybody on campus needs to do their part to make sure students are successful.”

Undergraduate enrollment decreased by 0.94 percent since fall, while graduate enrollment has increased by 8.69 percent, according to the report. Doctoral enrollment is up 37.55 percent since last spring.

“You’ve got to consider that we also took on the School of Podiatric Medicine, so there’s probably a reason for that bump,” said Mike Sperko, institutional data and information director.

Sperko said 92.4 percent of first-time, full time freshman returned from fall, down from 93.8 percent from last spring.

“If you look over a three to five year period, we’re right at where we expect to be,” Sperko said. “We’re aiming at the 95 percent mark.”

Enrollment is down at all regional campuses except the Geauga and Stark campuses, according to the report.

“A lot of that, I think, is due to the improvement in the economy,” Schneider said.

The regional campuses grew at double digit rates for several years when the economy was not doing quite well, and now that things are improving, they’re seeing a bigger movement because of that.”

Concurrent enrollment increased 1.86 percent since last spring, meaning more students are taking courses at multiple campuses, according to the report.

“Resources are being consumed at each location and you have to plan accordingly,” Sperko said. “We’re seeing a bit of a shift and distance learning is playing a major role in the shift for concurrent enrollment.”

Contact Lyndsey Schley at [email protected].