Kent State sees record enrollment for Spring semester

Megan Wilkinson

While most students were probably asleep Monday night, a handful of employees in the Research, Planning and Institutional Effectiveness department at Kent State worked late and woke up extremely early to release the 15th Day Enrollment Statistics.

“We were up all night, crazily counting students,” said Wayne Schneider, director of RPIE. “Mostly, it was just running tests to make sure and double check our numbers so that by midnight we could release the 15th day stats.”

Class of 2016 pumps up for next Fall

A couple years ago, making friends as a freshman was an awkward experience during Destination Kent State or Welcome Weekend. Now, the Admission’s Office hopes to ease this stress on future students by getting them more engaged through social networking sites.

Kent State’s Admission’s Office launched a Facebook page dedicated to the graduating ‘Class of 2016’ last October. The page currently has about 940 followers.

“This is our second year trying the Facebook group,” said Mark Ledoux, associate director of Admissions. 

Ledoux said this is the second year the Admission’s Office made a Facebook group for a perspective student class. The page allows students to connect with other future students, receive notifications about on-campus events and learn more about the university and college life.

“We want these future students to feel like they have friends before they step on campus,” Ledoux said.

Natalie Medaglia, a future Kent State student and member of the Facebook group, said she ‘liked’ the Class of 2016 page a while ago. She said she likes that the page lets her know which of her friends are also thinking about coming to Kent State.

“I already feel connected to the university,” Medaglia said. “I visited campus in the summer too and I think it’s like the typical college campus that you see in movies. Everyone there was really welcoming.”

Kent State hit its highest ever spring enrollment number this semester as there are approximately 40,398 students enrolled at all eight campuses.

“We’re always hoping to see improvements in retention,” Schneider said. “Sometimes it’s hard to tell exactly why students return or don’t return, but overall I think these are good numbers for the university.”

Schneider said more freshmen came back to the main Kent campus this spring compared to last spring. He said 93.8 percent of freshmen returned in spring 2012 compared with the 91.7 percent last spring.

David Garcia, associate vice president of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, said these numbers give the university a sense of how many students plan to return to Kent State next fall. 

Though numbers for main campus and the freshman class are both up, Garcia said regional campuses reported a two percent decrease in their enrollment. Garcia said one possible reason for this is the improved economic conditions.

“I’ve learned in higher education that as soon as the economy starts to improve, students (at regional campuses) don’t always return to college possibly because they’ve found other employment,” Garcia said.

Greg Jarvie, vice president of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, said more than 16,000 students already sent in applications for next fall semester, which is about 4,000 applications more than last year. 

Garcia said though the university likes to see growth, he thinks the enrollment number will level off at 4,300 students per incoming class.

“We want to bring in as strong of a class as we can, academically, which is more important to us than class growth,” Garcia said.

Contact Megan Wilkinson at [email protected].