Enrollment up, revenue down
Enrollment has increased for the first time in a decade, but revenue is down roughly $2 million.
The university’s 10-day figures show overall enrollment is up 25 people from last year, an increase of just 0.001 percent. Total enrollment is 17,989 students. International enrollment has increased nearly 25 percent, and enrollment of new international graduate and undergraduate students is the highest since 1985. Freshman enrollment is up 2.4 percent and transfer enrollment is up 2.3 percent.
“It’s relatively flat, but it’s a reason to celebrate,” Interim Chancellor Paul Sarvela said at the media announcement Tuesday. “This is the first time we haven’t had a decline in 10 years.”
Sarvela said the university needs to focus on recruitment and retention. He said enrollment has improved because of strategic outreach, a growing reputation and strong academic programs.
“It is 10 times more cost effective to retain a student then it is to go out after a student,” Sarvela said.
This year’s freshman class comes from 32 states and 22 countries, according to a university press release. Twenty-nine percent of the freshman class is African American, 11 percent is Hispanic or Latino and 52 percent of the freshman class is female.
Sarvela said in previous years, majorities of freshman have been male. Off-campus enrollment increased more than 5 percent.
Although enrollment has gone up, revenue has gone down roughly $2 million, partially due to scholarships.
A retention task force was formed last year to execute a plan to keep students at the university. Sarvela said the university does not know if the task force has been effective yet.
“That significant increase in the proportion of sophomore students leads us to believe that our retention efforts and transfer programming are working out,” Sarvela said.
Brent Meske can be reached at [email protected]