Enrollment at Kent State University edged up to another record, while the University of Akron lost students this fall.
Those are two early reports on how Ohio’s colleges and universities are doing attracting new students and retaining the ones they have.
The eight-campus KSU system posted a record enrollment of 42,513, less than 1 percent, or 328 students, higher than fall 2011.
Meanwhile, UA reported enrollment of 28,771, down 3 percent from the previous year, in part because the university referred about 125 underqualified applicants elsewhere.
Both UA and KSU reported they were attracting better-qualified students.
UA said the average ACT test score for bachelor’s degree-seeking students edged up to 22.4 from 21.2 in 2008 and that the average grade-point average of high school students was 3.2.
Enrollment was strong in some UA colleges, among them Engineering and Polymer Science/Polymer Engineering, both of which grew 10 percent.
KSU said the average grade-point average of its new freshmen rose to a record 3.27.
“We’re attracting more academically qualified students,” KSU President Lester Lefton said in a media release. University efforts to help students succeed “are making a difference.”
Kent campus retention is up 2 percent, to 77 percent. That means that three out of four of last year’s freshmen came back for a second year.
Meanwhile, a record number of 27,706 students are enrolled at the main Kent campus, up 2.85 percent from the previous year.
How UA and KSU compare with other colleges and universities statewide isn’t clear.
The University of Toledo reported a 5 percent drop in students, to 21,500, in part because it too is seeking better-qualified students.
All colleges and universities face the same issues: the high school population is shrinking and higher education might have plumbed the depths of the unemployed seeking new training, so heady growth probably will not be as likely.
The Ohio Board of Regents won’t have final enrollments for all tax-supported universities and colleges until Oct. 1. The institutions report their 15-day enrollments as their official numbers and not all begin fall semester on the same dates.
Carol Biliczky can be reached at 330-996-3729 or email@example.com.