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Strategic Plan News and Accomplishments

Kent State Reaches New All-Time High in Student Enrollment

Posted Sep. 11, 2012

University sees exciting growth in applications, retention and student quality for Fall 2012

Kent State University has increased enrollment, surpassing last year’s record and reaching a new all-time high with the release of the university’s official 15th day census data. For the eight-campus system, Kent State reports a strong enrollment of 42,513 students for the Fall 2012 semester. In Fall 2011, overall enrollment was 42,185 students. The unduplicated (or preponderant) headcount at the Kent Campus increased by 2.85 percent to 27,706 students with the number of full-time equivalent students, or FTEs, up 3.16 percent, so students are taking more hours. The unduplicated headcount for the regional campuses is 14,807 students. Students are counted only once at the campus at which they hold a majority of their course load.

Photo of Fall 2012 Kent State University studentsKent State has experienced exciting growth in several areas. Some of the highlights of the Kent Campus include increased enrollment, improved retention and better student quality with the freshman class having the highest academic profile in Kent State history. The average high school grade point average of a Kent State freshman is 3.27. It also is the second largest freshman class in university history.

“Part of our impressive growth at the Kent Campus is the retention of our largest class, which was last year’s freshman class,” explained Kent State University President Lester A. Lefton. “Kent Campus retention is 77 percent, up 2 percent from last year. There are other factors contributing to our growing enrollment. We’re attracting more academically motivated students. The efforts on campus being made by our faculty and staff to help our students succeed are making a difference. We’re also offering more tutorial services and doing more student outreach.”

T. David Garcia, Kent State’s associate vice president for enrollment management, said the university has been working on the quality of its students over the past few years. “With highly academically motivated students, we’re improving retention and persistence to graduation,” he said. “Under President Lefton’s leadership, we’re doing what we’ve been asked to do on a state and national level. And, if we continue on this path of focusing on student quality, our hope is to have a retention rate higher than 80 percent in the next one to three years.”

Retention of students in Undergraduate Studies increased 4.3 percent alone compared to last year due to strategies that members of Undergraduate Studies employed encouraging students to persist to their second year. Strategies included academic advisers in the Exploratory Advising Center encouraging new first-years students to enroll in a minimum of 15 credit hours each semester, the Exploratory Advising Center increasing adviser interaction with first-year students by requiring them to meet with their academic adviser for two appointments during their first year, and the Student Success Program Office and the Exploratory Advising Center collaborating on an initiative to assist first-year students who were placed on probation after the first semester.

Kent State also experienced a tremendous increase in freshman applications. The total number of applications received by the Kent Campus for Fall 2012 was 21,040. This represents an increase of 62.9 percent, or 8,124 applications, in a five-year span compared to 12,916 freshman applications for Fall 2008.

Highlights from the Fall 2012 enrollment numbers also include:

  • Enrollment of international students is up 19.1 percent to 2,217 students compared to 1,862 in the previous year.
  • Enrollment at Kent State University at Geauga is up 3.34 percent. Kent State Geauga reported 1,548 students for Fall 2012 compared to 1,498 in the previous year.
  • Graduate enrollment has increased 10.05 percent.
  • Enrollment in Kent State’s College of Public Health has increased to 676 students (553 undergraduate and 123 graduate students), showing an impressive 428 percent growth since the college’s launch with 128 students in Fall 2010.
  • Kent State’s newest school, the School of Digital Sciences, which started last fall with three students, now has 97 students (69 undergraduate and 28 graduate students) this year, representing an outstanding 3,133 percent growth.
  • Enrollment in Kent State’s College of Podiatric Medicine, the university’s newest college, has 430 students.

Kent State’s eight campuses are located in Ashtabula, East Liverpool, Geauga, Kent, Salem, Stark, Trumbull and Tuscarawas. For more information about Kent State, visit www.kent.edu.

For the full fall enrollment report, go to www.kent.edu/rpie/enrollment.

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Photo Caption:
Kent State University has increased enrollment, surpassing last year’s record and reaching a new all-time high with 42,513 students for the Fall 2012 semester. In addition, the university’s freshman class has the highest academic profile in Kent State history.

Media Contacts:
Eric Mansfield, emansfie@kent.edu, 330-672-2797
Emily Vincent, evincen2@kent.edu, 330-672-8595