September 17, 2012
Shawnee State University released preliminary figures today announcing a slight reduction in fall enrollment of 1.2 percent or 4,630 students as compared to last fall's total 4,687 students enrolled.
The report showed that the number of first-time freshmen enrolled at SSU increased, as did the number of transfer students and continuing sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
"The growth in new freshmen and transfer students is the result of strategies we have been implementing to expand our marketing and recruitment areas," Dr. Rita Rice Morris, SSU President, said. "We are also implementing a number of strategies aimed at continually improving student retention. We want students who come to us as freshmen to be successful at Shawnee State and stay through to graduation."
The number of post-secondary students, those taking college courses while in high school, decreased by 46 students.
Recruitment of students has become a challenge for universities in Ohio as the number of high school graduates has declined.
In 2012, Ohio graduated 1700 fewer high school students than the previous year. The immediate surrounding counties of Scioto, Lawrence, Adams, and Pike saw 220 fewer high school graduates this year.
The report indicates that Shawnee State saw a decrease of 128 students from these counties this fall over last fall. The number of students from the southwestern Ohio and northern Kentucky area have increased this year from 318 to 339, up by 21 or 6.6 percent. The number of students from the central Ohio region, including counties surrounding the Columbus area, has decreased by 4.2 percent. The number of students from other states, however, has increased by 27.5 percent.
Undergraduates at SSU represent 28 states and the District of Columbia, as well as 20 countries throughout the world.
"Our demographics on campus are changing," Morris said. "Our student population is more diverse, our demands for housing continue to increase as we recruit more residential students from outside of the immediate area, and our student's needs continue to change and evolve. We continue to develop services at Shawnee State that meet the needs of our current and future students."
In the past four years, enrollment at Shawnee State University has increased by more than 16%, from 3,976 students in the fall of 2008 to this fall's 4,630.