USI enrollment drops below 9,000

Enrollment has dropped below 9,000 total students for the first time in over 15 years. 

Chief Data Officer Katherine Draughon said the last time enrollment was under 9,000 was in 1999 when 8,695 undergraduate and graduate students attended the university.

Census data released late Tuesday for the Fall 2018 semester reported a continued drop in undergraduate and graduate enrollment from 9,014 in 2017 to 8,962 this year, not including College Achievement Program students.

The CAP program began offering English 101 courses to high schools around the state in 1985. Once introduced at the university, the CAP program enrollment has steadily increased, with this year seeing a climb to 2,059 total students. The program currently offers 35 courses to 27 Indiana high schools.

Graduate enrollment increased 11 percent this year, seeing the largest increase in the program since the university first began offering graduate programs in 1984. It’s the second highest reported increase following a 22.5 percent jump last year.

The university, which currently offers 13 master’s programs and two doctoral programs, launched its Doctor of Education program earlier this semester.

“We continue to build on the successes we have seen across our graduate offerings,” Director of Graduate Studies Mayola Rowser said in a news release. “We are excited about new offerings like our recently launched Doctor of Education as well as new formats for delivery that make our programs accessible to everyone, including busy working adults.”

CAP enrollment also increased 2.1 percent from the past year.

The university’s incoming freshman class entered with higher GPA’s and standardized test scores, with the average GPA for incoming freshman rising from 2.89 to 3.36 in 2017 based on a 4.0 scale. However, first-time college student enrollment stands at 1,656, a 3.8 percent decrease from last year’s 1,722 total.

“We continue to develop academic programs that are relevant and remain responsive to not only our local and regional communities, but our international audiences as well,” President Ron Rochon said in the news release. “I’m excited by the possibilities that the success of our graduate programs offer. As we look to the future, we will continue to evaluate how we can best serve this growing and important segment of our campus community.”

International and out-of-state students shore up about 18.5 percent of the student population. Transfer student enrollment jumped 4 percent with 519 students.

Many other statewide public institutions recently reported their enrollment data, many seeing declines.

Indiana University reported its highest ever freshman class in 2018. However, the university saw an overall decline in student enrollment, dropping 0.7 percent from fall 2017.

The University of Evansville’s freshman class saw a 13 percent increase for 2018-19 academic year, but overall full-time enrollment dropped slightly.

At Ivy Tech Evansville, a recent enrollment announcement showed a drop in students from last year’s 4,076 to 4,039 this year, a near 18 percent drop.

Indiana State University’s fall enrollment fell to its lowest level in five years, marking a 5 percent decrease over last year.