Fall enrollment expected to rise

Christina Stavale

Though official numbers will not be out for about a month, enrollment and retention are looking up for the fall semester.

If fall enrollment numbers are as projected, this will be the first time in two years that enrollment has stayed the same or increased. Summer enrollment has also increased for the first time in three years.

On the fifteenth day of the semester, after students have canceled registration, completed late registration and dropped and added classes, the university releases its enrollment statistics.

“Things are looking very positive at this point for both enrollment and retention,” said Pete Goldsmith, vice president for enrollment, management and student affairs.

He also projected that more of these students will be coming from outside Northeast Ohio.

“Out of state numbers will be up probably 5 to 10 percent,” Goldsmith said.

More students, he said, means more subsidies from the state. Because more students will be coming from out of state, it will also mean more diversity among the student body.

As of now, Goldsmith said residence halls are 96 percent full, which is higher than the percentages in the low 90s that the university had projected.

Also, more course sections have been added, particularly in English and math, so that freshmen are not held up in taking other courses that require these as prerequisites.

Improvement in enrollment and retention, Goldsmith said, is because of “a lot of hard work from a lot of people.”

He said Provost Robert Frank began working on enrollment and retention before he actually started working at Kent State. There has been a lot more communication and personal contact with people who do not return to the university in order to pinpoint the issues that cause people not to return, Goldsmith said.

“Sometimes it’s money, sometimes it’s academic advising and sometimes it’s a personal reason,” he said.

For students contemplating not returning because of financial issues, Goldsmith said Ohio’s tuition freeze may have made a difference in students’ being able to come back to the university.

“What we’re trying to figure out is how to help students be successful and pinpoint things that get in the way,” he said.

Contact principal reporter Christina Stavale at [email protected].