YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Colleges and universities across the Ohio and the Midwest are seeing a decline in enrollment.
According to Youngstown State University‘s website, full-time equivalent enrollment is down over seven percent.
According to Kent State University’s website, their enrollment is down just over five percent.
“We have seen decreases in enrollments consistent with what projections have been,” said provost Brien Smith.
From 2010 to 2020, Ohio schools have seen a drop of 11 percent in full-time equivalent enrollment, according to the Ohio Department of Higher Education.
“Pure and simple, fewer high school graduates, fewer babies born during a certain time period and a migration of people to different parts,” Smith said.
YSU’s enrollment is the lowest it has been since becoming a state university in 1967.
“That’s sobering news but it’s not surprising,” said vice president of finance Neal McNally.
McNally said they saw this drop coming, and because of that he believes they are in good position to manage it.
He also said the money coming in from tuition and fees from last fall is down $2.6 million from last year.
“We forecast for the entire fiscal year when you factor in spring and part of summer semesters, total revenue from tuition and fees will be down north of $5 million,” McNally said.
This fiscal year YSU received $38 million in federal COVID-19 relief, which provided a lifeline, for now.
“But beyond that we really need to be positioned to have in place a plan to be a smaller university that considers a more permanent effects of enrollment decline,” he said.
The university is trying to focus on programs that bring in more students.
“Our graduate programs in particular in business, in nursing and in education have grown a lot,” Smith said.
Smith said while enrollment is down, graduation rates over the past six years are up.