YSU's president credited faculty and staff members for the boost in student population.
By RON COLE
VINDICATOR EDUCATION WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Youngstown State University opened the new academic year on a good note today: Enrollment is up for only the second time in a dozen years.
"This is a very significant achievement," YSU President David Sweet said in a statement this morning. "It marks a reversal of a downward trend that has plagued the campus for too long."
A preliminary head count shows 12,221 students on campus, up 1.8 percent from the 12,008 this time last year, YSU reported.
It's the first time since 1998 and only the second time since 1990 that YSU's enrollment has increased. Enrollment won't be official for two weeks, and YSU officials said the numbers are expected to fluctuate.
Sweet, who took YSU's helm in July 2000 with enrollment as his top goal, said the increase is the result of university faculty and staff members' "becoming more engaged in enrollment initiatives, and they deserve the credit for this success."
Successful efforts: He also credited beefed-up recruitment and retention efforts, expanded course offerings, new financial aid packaging, personalized telephone contacts, improved student services and the university's recent "Your Success is Our Goal" marketing campaign.
University enrollment is counted two ways: head count reflects the number of students enrolled, while full-time equivalent shows the number of students enrolled full time.
YSU's FTE enrollment increased this year as well, up 4.2 percent to 9,932, Sweet said.
"It demonstrates that more students are looking to YSU as a full-time college experience," Sweet said. "At the same time, it shows that we have an ongoing opportunity to serve more part-time, nontraditional students."
The 1.8 percent head-count enrollment increase is well below Sweet's stated goal of 5 percent.
YSU enrollment peaked in 1976 at 15,898 and remained steady until 1990, when it began to drop.