Trumbull sees boost in numbers for spring semester enrollment

Mary Jo Spletzer

Enrollment for Kent State Trumbull Campus is up by 17 percent this spring.

The Trumbull campus recently began offering free tuition to workers laid-off after Oct. 1, 2008 as a result of the economy as a part of its Fresh Start program.

Fresh Start now accounts for 4 percent of the total student body, said Randi Schneider, director of Enrollment Management at Trumbull.

Schneider said Fresh Start was not the only reason for the enrollment increase. Another factor may have included the campus’s lower tuition rates. Trumbull’s tuition is $217 per credit hour and no fees are associated with courses other than books and occasional special fees.

“We don’t charge a ‘tech fee’ or ‘parking fee’ or ‘matriculation fee’ or any other major fees,” Schneider said. “Therefore, students and their families have realized that you can receive an outstanding education at a fraction of the price of other colleges in the region, without sacrificing quality.”

Schneider said another variable was the campus’s marketing campaign that included an increase in its visibility on radio, television, print and outdoor billboards.

“Our campus partnered with University Communications and Marketing this fall to produce high quality marketing materials that had an appeal to both traditional-aged students considering college and non-traditional aged ‘older students’ who need to know if they can balance college with their other roles, such as parenting and a job,” Schneider said.

Trumbull Campus Dean Wanda Thomas agreed other factors contributed to the enrollment increase.

“The increased enrollment at the campus is not due to the Fresh Start program entirely,” Thomas said. “Whenever the economy declines, higher education generally experiences an increased enrollment.”

According to Thomas, 99 students have registered for spring semester through the Fresh Start program and another 42 are going to enroll in a Department of Labor Earmark program.

“The Fresh Start program has been an extraordinary experience for all of us at the Trumbull campus,” Schneider said. “Our campus worked very hard to help make our new ‘fresh start’ students feel welcome and to get everyone tested and registered. It was worth every last minute.”

Contact regional campuses reporter Mary Jo Spletzer at [email protected].