Education

Freshmen Up 5.5% at YSU, Total Headcount Down 0.9%

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Youngstown State University continues to enroll larger and more academically prepared freshmen classes with students coming from a broader region across the nation and beyond.

This year’s freshmen class of 2,278 students is 5.5% larger than last fall semester and is 25% larger than the 1,821 freshmen that enrolled in 2014, according to the latest numbers released by YSU.

Still, overall headcount enrollment is down from last year about 0.9%, to 12,644. That is higher than three years ago, when enrollment was 12,551, YSU noted. And full-time equivalent enrollment is up by 0.4% from last year.

In announcing fall enrollment numbers, YSU emphasized that the new freshmen class  has the highest ACT scores (21.8) and the highest high school grade point averages (3.31) in the university’s history. In addition, the number of freshmen in the Honors College has more than tripled since 2014, from 96 to 333.

This year’s freshmen class also includes students from 31 states, up from 16 three years ago, and the total number of international students is up by nearly 40% to 442.

“Over the past three years, we have worked hard to recruit students who are better prepared coming out of high school to succeed in the university academic environment,” said Gary Swegan, associate vice president for enrollment planning and management. “We have also spread our recruiting net further from the Mahoning Valley, including more recent efforts to bring in more students from overseas.”

The number of freshmen with a high school grade point average of 3.5 or above has increased by 88% since 2014, he added. And freshmen come from 526 high schools and 48 Ohio counties, up from 303 high schools and 37 counties three years ago.

The university has put into place programs to help students once they come to campus, Swegan said. The result is an increase in the percentage of freshmen who return to campus as sophomores, from 67% in 2014 to nearly 75% this year.

“When we bring someone to campus, it is our responsibility to do whatever we can to offer all of the resources necessary to ensure that student’s success,” Swegan said. “These retention numbers reflect that we are having success in that area.”

SOURCE: YSU News Center

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.