Change in KSU recruitment strategy proves successful

Caitlyn Callahan

This fall, Kent State reached a record number of applications and has the biggest freshman class ever. According to the 15-Day Enrollment Statistics released Tuesday, there has also been an increase in total undergraduate and graduate students.

The total number of students on the Kent campus has risen 4.76 percent since last fall — from 26,589 students to 27,855 students. Overall enrollment on all eight KSU campuses has also increased, up 1.98 percent from last fall.

Greg Jarvie, vice president of Enrollment and Student Affairs, said he thinks the reason for the increase in enrollment is due to KSU being more aggressive in its overall recruitment strategy.

“We did a lot more face to face with students,” Jarvie said. He said use the Kent State Phone Center, where KSU calls and talks students. They also use social media, such as Facebook, to contact students.

“I think obviously that has paid off,” Jarvie said.

Jarvie said he thinks there are several reasons students come to Kent State. He said one of the most attractive aspects is Kent State’s academic programs. He said he also thinks this is a beautiful campus.

“I’ve always said if you have a potential student that comes and actually comes on campus, they will be pleasantly surprised at how nice the campus is,” Jarvie said. “That’s a huge selling point.”

He said the residence halls are also attractive to new students.

Undergraduate enrollment increased by 5.11 percent this fall, and graduate enrollment increased by 3.4 percent. Jarvie said there is almost always an overall growth of the incoming freshman class, and usually an increase in undergraduate students. He said the increase of graduate students seen in the last several years is due to changes in the economy.

“If the jobs aren’t there, many folks tend to go back and get more education, get trained either in their field or possibly another field,” he said. “Education is still a great value, and it will ultimately position those that get a graduate degree a little better than the one that has an undergraduate degree.”

Even though there is a record number of students at Kent State this year, the overall headcount is down 1.06 percent. Jarvie said this is because Kent State had a large graduating class last year, and that is the ultimate goal.

“I think there’s a good indicator that people are getting through in a reasonable period of time and moving on, which is critical,” Jarvie said. He said another reason for the decrease is there is a percentage of students that cannot return due to finances.

Jarvie said overall, more applications turns into more admissions, which turns into more students, and it has all worked well for Kent State.

“Really when it comes down to the whole package, both academically and socially, it’s a great value,” he said.

Contact Caitlyn Callahan at [email protected].