Enrollment projected to decrease

Rachel Abbey

The number of students enrolled in this year’s Placement Advising and Scheduling System program has declined, as the university expected, said Chuck Rickard, associate vice president for enrollment services.

“We’re just about where we thought we’d be, which is encouraging,” he said.

The administration has been using an estimated 3 percent decrease in total enrollment for next year’s budget, said David Creamer, vice president for administration. Freshman enrollment is one factor in this figure.

The university uses the PASS figures to determine what its freshmen enrollment will most likely be in the fall, because it is a better estimate of how many people will attend than applications, Rickard said.

“You can have 20,000 applications and only have 10 percent of those students enroll,” he said.

Kent State had about 11,000 applications last year, and about 3,600 students attended in the fall, he said.

Rickard said 3,042 students have been through or have scheduled to attend PASS this year, about 2 percent fewer than last year. At this time last year, 3,116 students had attended or were planning to attend the program.

The drop in enrollment can be traced to more than the incoming freshman class, Creamer said. The last few graduating classes have been large, while fewer students have been coming to Kent State to take those students’ places. Also, fewer students have been transferring in from other universities than in the past.

Another reason fewer students are enrolling could be the rising cost of higher education, Rickard said.

The increasing cost of higher education can also affect retention, Creamer said. It becomes more difficult for students to borrow or earn enough money to pay for tuition, so more students are dropping out.

Today’s students have more choices when it comes to choosing an institution, Rickard said. This greater competition among institutions could be another reason why there have been fewer applicants to Kent State.

Students are supposed to decide where they will attend and tell those colleges and universities by May 1, the national candidates reply date, Rickard said.

“This is still early,” Rickard said.

Contact administration reporter Rachel Abbey at [email protected]