Archived Story

First-day enrollment numbers reflect changing makeup of SSU students

Published 2:58pm Monday, August 25, 2014

Shawnee State University’s First-Day Preliminary Enrollment Report reflects changes in the makeup of this year’s class, as well as initiatives to improve retention and student success.

“With the change in the funding formula for higher education that places greater focus on course completion rather than raw numbers of students, we have implemented several strategic initiatives this year that are reflected in our preliminary enrollment numbers,” Dr. Rita Rice Morris, SSU President, said.

Among these was a decision to require all applicants under the age of 21 to have an ACT or SAT score.

“We remain committed to our open access mission,” Morris explained. “When examining factors related to student success, our data indicate that students who do not have an ACT or SAT score are at the highest risk for not completing courses. The ACT/SAT scores are also valuable resources for advising students into our support programs aimed at helping students succeed in college. “

Morris said that it was anticipated that this requirement would significantly decrease the number of first-time freshmen, which it did. The First-Day Enrollment Report shows a decrease in overall headcount enrollment of 1.8 percent at Shawnee State this year over last year. The number of first-time freshmen decreased by about 13 percent.

“This class is smaller,” Morris said. “It’s also one of our best academically-prepared incoming classes.”

While data collected on the 15th day of the semester is the official “snapshot” for the university, the First-Day Preliminary Report showed an increase in the number of transfer students, and significant increases in the number of high school students taking college-level courses through College Credit Plus, and the number of graduate students at Shawnee State University this fall.

This change in the “mix” of students has financial implications for the university that will be addressed in the coming weeks, once the 15th day numbers have been identified. Morris said that university officials are using the first-day preliminary enrollment numbers to begin working on plans to address potential implications of changes in enrollment and related revenues.

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