New freshman enrollment numbers result of university outreach efforts

Ben Wolford

The rising trend in new freshman enrollment will continue in the fall semester, the result of more high school graduates and better recruitment.

Since 2006, fall freshman enrollment has increased by about 2 percent each year and is expected to increase by the same amount for Fall 2008. Director of admissions Nancy DellaVecchia said a rise in the student population was a factor in the increase, along with efforts by the university.

“Our outreach and recruitment efforts continue,” she said. “More and more students are looking for college information on the Web, and we’re trying to get more information out to them.”

Freshman enrollment by the numbers

&bull 3,850-3,900: expected summer and fall new freshman enrollment

&bull 100-150 more freshmen than last year

&bull 2 percent increase this year in fall freshman enrollment from last year

&bull 3 percent increase this year in fall and summer freshman enrollment from last year

New freshman enrollment for summer and fall combined is expected to be between 3,850 and 3,900 new students, a three percent increase from 2007. Some freshman begin classes in the summer for programs such as Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine and the President’s Academy.

Pete Goldsmith, vice president for enrollment management and student affairs, said the university is expecting 100 to 150 more freshmen than last year, and aside from a temporary surplus in the residence halls, it should not cause problems elsewhere.

“I think the impact will be minimal,” he said. “I think we can absorb that number pretty easily.”

Official numbers won’t be available until Sept. 12.

DellaVecchia said these enrollment numbers may not be the highest ever, but it’s up there.

“In the fall of 2004, we had 3,727 freshmen,” she said. “It’s too close to tell … I think we’re going to be somewhere near there, but until I see the final, I don’t want to say record-breaking.”

Ohio State officials don’t expect to see any increases in their freshman enrollment from 2007. But the University of Akron is anticipating about 300 more, said a university official. Akron had 4,085 enrolled as of Aug. 11.

DellaVecchia said the number of Ohio high schoolers will start to decrease in the next few years, forcing the university to work harder at recruiting.

“As we look to the future, (high school class sizes) will start shrinking,” she said. “We are actually trying to expand our outreach and go more to out-of-state markets where in some states, (the number of) high school graduates are going to grow.”

President Lester Lefton said in June that Kent State has hired admissions counselors to send to Illinois, Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey to recruit at high schools.

“Next year we hope to continue to grow the freshman class,” DellaVecchia said. “We hope to do that growth not only in Ohio, but by expanding our outreach out of state.”

Contact administration reporter Ben Wolford at [email protected].