YSU Enrollment at All-Time Low; Revenue Drops $2.6 Million

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Enrollment at Youngstown State University during the fall semester stands at an all-time low, while revenues from fees and tuition are down $2.6 million from the same period last year, according to a letter from the Office of Academic Affairs and Office of Finance and Business Operations.

“Full-time equivalent student enrollment levels this semester are 7.3% lower than last year,” Provost Brien Smith and Neal McNally, vice president for Finance and Business Operations, said in a campuswide email on Wednesday.

The university says its enrollment levels currently stand at an “all-time low” of 11,298 students, or 9,031 full-time equivalents enrolled.

“While this is unfortunate, it is not surprising given the regional demographic challenges facing northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania,” the letter states. “In fact, the university’s operating budget for the current fiscal year 2022 is based, in part, on the assumption that enrollment would decline again this year. And it has.” 

In June, YSU trustees approved a 2022 budget of $172.6 million.

The university says it estimates that revenue from tuition and fees will decline by $5.6 million over the 2021-2022 fiscal year. That’s down $2.6 million this fall compared to fall 2020.

Meanwhile, “inflationary pressure continues to drive up university spending on everything from employee salaries and benefits to technology infrastructure and campus maintenance,” the email states.

Nevertheless, YSU’s budget remains balanced, largely due to more than $10 million in one-time funds made available through federal COVID-19 relief funding.

“While that funding has provided the university with much needed financial assistance, it represents temporary relief that cannot be counted on beyond the current fiscal year,” the letter states. “In other words, the university is potentially facing a structural budget deficit in excess of $10 million.”

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.